Inappropriate packaging of bulk foods
Bulk food crops have to be split into easily transportable packages for distribution to the consumer. However, much food is lost through improper or inadequate packaging. In tropical developing countries, with high temperatures and high humidity, special problems arise due to insect infestation, rodents and mould growth; and almost all packaging materials may be attacked by rats and mice. Developing countries may find it especially difficult to ensure adequate packaging because of the limited supply of packaging materials and the obsolescence of packaging machinery available.
Estimates of losses of up to 40% due to improper packaging are characteristic of insect-infested foods. Large harvests of produce in Central America do not reach the people simply because there is a lack of processing and packing equipment and such countries import canned food from developed countries. In Chile, olive spoilage was reduced by 60% when proper packaging technology was applied.