Posted by Nichrome India Ltd on January 14th, 2022

RTE (Ready-to-eat) foods are foods that do not require any additional processing. They are pre-cleaned, pre-cooked packaged foods that are ready for consumption. Some may require heating for the best results.

Consumers\' shifting lifestyles are driving the demand for RTE foods. The cultural shift in dual-income families and an increasing number of working women has strengthened the demand for RTE products. With less time for cooking, consumers are looking for products that are convenient and portable, incorporate varied flavours and have functional benefits.

The global RTE industry is growing in leaps and bounds, and RTE food producers have to consider three key points when developing their products:

  • Food safety: Whether gourmet meals or specific cultural cuisine or staples, RTE foods need to stay stable until they reach the consumer\'s plate.
  • Taste: Consumers do not want to sacrifice taste for convenience, so RTE food manufacturers have to ensure their products taste as good as they should, even days after manufacturing.
  • Shelf life: Generally, RTE foods need to have a long shelf life, without degrading the taste, quality and safety of the food.

All these points can be tackled with packaging. Advancements in food technology and packaging technology have made it possible to extend the shelf life of RTE foods by years. They also ensure that as soon as the pack is opened, the food is safe, appetising and tasty.

Because RTE meals are pre-cooked, their packaging needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Provide protection during shipment and on the shelf
  • Careful and reliable sealing to prevent outside contaminants and preserve freshness
  • Come in food-grade safe containers or packs that can be easily frozen or heated

The most popular technologies used for RTE meals include:

Retort: Since its invention in 1978, retort has been touted as the solution for maintaining the shelf stability of readymade, microwaveable foods. Retort pouches are flexible plastic pouches that are packed with already cooked or semi-cooked food, sealed and subsequently sterilised to create food pouches that have a shelf life of up to 18 months with no preservatives and zero refrigeration.

MAP: Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is the process of removing the ambient oxygen-filled air in the package headspace and replacing it with a gas or gas mixture, usually nitrogen and carbon dioxide.

VSP: Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) works by combining a high barrier film with a pre-made tray. The film encapsulates the food like a second skin, eliminating almost all package atmosphere.


Nichrome offers specialised RTE packaging machineswith the latest European technology.

Pick-Fill-Seal machine

Nichrome\'s PFS is the most suitable automated RTE and RTC packaging machinefor foods such as biryani, palak paneer, butter chicken, dal makhana, Punjabi chole & other gravies, besides instant mixes, namkeen, liquid yoghurt and sweets such as gulab jamun.

The high precision Pick-Fill-Seal machine is controlled through a PLC, with the latest synchronised motion Servo System. The PFS packaging machine uses Rotary technology to pack RTE foods in innovative shapes while maintaining the freshness of the food.

An advanced variant of packaging technology innovated by Nichrome enables 2 or 3 different fillers to dispense multiple types of ingredients in the same pouch.

Salient Features:

  • Servo driven precision indexing
  • Precision Cam operated mechanism
  • Less power consumption
  • Operator friendly, easy-to-clean and maintain
  • Compact & versatile design
  • User-friendly PLC based machine with a touch screen interface
  • No Pouch, No Fill, No Seal Interlock
  • Pouch Open Error, No Fill Interlock
  • Heater malfunction error interlock
  • Low air pressure alarm
  • Machine guards with safety interlock
  • Hygienic stainless steel construction available as an option
  • Contact parts SS316, SS304 options available
  • Pouch formats: 3 side seal, 4 side seal, stand up pack, stand up with zipper and Doy pack with side spout.

Thermoforming Tray Sealing machine

For marketers of cut fruits & vegetables, meat & fish, namkeen & sweets and even ready-to-eat meals like biryani, this horizontal form fill seal machinefrom Tecnovac, Italy ensures the products stay safe and hygienic till they reach the consumer\'s table.

The machine is able to seal, pack in a protective atmosphere (vacuum + gas) or with \"Skin effect\" all types of trays or jars. The modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) machine extracts oxygen & carbon dioxide from the air of the trays, synchronously filling them with nitrogen or mixed air, to ensure that food does not deteriorate for at least 72 hours. Due to its strong stainless steel structure and easy maintenance, Athena is ideal for use in small and medium-sized companies.


If you are a snack and namkeen manufacturer, or small scale ready-to-eat food provider, Nichrome\'s tray sealing machineis for you. The tray packaging is certain to preserve your products better and help you grow your market, especially in these pandemic-hit times when hygiene is a major concern.

For other RTE food manufacturers, Nichrome\'s PFS is the specialised solution to pack tasty meals and ready-to-cook ingredients with hygiene, quality and aesthetics.

Talk to Nichrome about your RTE food packaging requirements. Working together, we can gain a competitive edge.

Like it? Share it!

Nichrome India Ltd

About the Author

Nichrome India Ltd
Joined: February 26th, 2021
Articles Posted: 41

More by this author