Packaging is one term that is used and abused in Nigeria. Indeed, when a good number of Nigerians are paid compliments like “you look good,” you’d hear any of these ready-made responses, “Na packaging, leave wetin them write for motor, enter motor.” or the Igbo version, “Anyi na ama uwa George.” These are their ways of saying that things are not the way they seem and their outer covering (the clothes, shoes, makeup) are just meant to mask their problems from the world.
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However, as interesting as these responses are, they do not reflect the true meaning of the term, packaging. This is because even though packaging, in the real sense of the word, is a beautifully designed covering for a product, it’s aim is to protect and not hide the content.
This is why it details the exact content of a product. But is this all that packaging entails? The answer is no. Thus, before I tell you the reasons why you should read food packaging information, the term, packaging must first be defined.
According to the Entrepreneur, packaging is the wrapping material around a consumer item that serves to contain, identify, describe, protect, display, promote a product. It is meant to make the product clean and more marketable. Packaging has a single-use purpose. Once it fulfils its objectives, it is pulled or torn off so that the product inside can be used. Below are three reasons why you need to read food packaging information.
It helps you to know what you are consuming
Packaging contains information on the product. Where food is concerned, such information as the packing date and the best before date are displayed on the packaging. A list of ingredients used in its production is clearly visible on it as well. This vital information is provided on the packaging for consumers’ safety.
Consumers, in general, and those with health, religious or personal reasons why they should not consume a particular product, should read these details so that they know exactly what they should or should not consume.
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Food packaging contains instructions for usage
If you read food packaging information, you’d find that some contain cooking instructions. A quick look at the container of NAN baby milk, Optipro 3, for instance, will reveal a feeding table and a detailed guide on its preparation.
You’ll also find the instruction, “to maintain the number of living cultures, the boiled water must be cooled down to about body temperature before adding the powder.” These are cooking instructions, and they detail temperature, equipment to use, cooking time and any other information that the manufacturer may deem important.
It helps you to learn how to store food products properly
If you’ve ever glanced through a food packaging, then, you must have come across the words, “store in a cool, dry place.” This is storage information. However, not all products are meant to be stored that way.
Some products, for instance, require you to refrigerate after opening. But if you don’t read the food packaging details, how will you know this? So, read food packaging details. It will educate you on how to properly store the product you purchased. It will also tell you the length of time the product should be stored after opening.
In conclusion, the habit of just checking the name of a product and its best before date should stop. Please, add food packaging instructions to your “to read” list. It will help you to use food products the right way.
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Featured Image Source: Food Packaging Labels
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