This two day workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to construct connections between food chemistry, packaging design and polymer science to expand their knowledge base and compe­tence. Participants will identify key packaging decision-making processes and will validate their new knowledge to reframe package challenges and make successful food packaging deci­sions. There will also be an opportunity to discuss your own real shelf life examples.

Learning Objectives

  • To comprehend the major plastic processing methods;
  • To appreciate the key deteriorative reactions which determine end of shelf life;
  • To solve food packaging challenges in package design and plastic mate­rial selection;
  • To justify and appraise package design and plastics material selections as related to shelf life.
  • To understand the properties of the key plastic polymers available for food packaging;

This workshop will begin with an overview of the functions and environments of packaging, followed by the structure and related properties of plastic polymers including bio based and/or biodegradable plastics. This will be followed by a session on plastic polymer processing and converting. The final session of day one discusses the permeability of plastic polymers and includes real life calculations of permeability and transmission rates (please bring a scientific calculator). Day two commences with an overview of the key deteriorative reactions in foods. Definitions of shelf life follow and then approaches to shelf life determination will be discussed. In the afternoon session, microbial shelf life and accelerated shelf life testing will be presented, followed by a discussion of real life examples and case studies including those from attendees.

Dr Gordon Robertson who is a consultant in food packaging and adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. Prior to his present positions, Gordon was Vice President for Environmental & External Affairs in the Tetra Pak Asia Regional Headquarters for 11 years, and before that Foundation Professor of Packaging Technology at Massey University, New Zealand where he taught courses on food packaging for 21 years. More information can be found on his website:

What will be provided: All Attendees will receive a copy of FOOD PACKAGING: PRINCIPLES & PRACTICE 3rd edition Seven chapters from this book will form the course notes for the workshop (please bring a highlighter).

Course cost:
NZD $895 + GST

Course venue:
Training Room (upstairs)
New Zealand Food Innovation (Auckland) Limited
Te Ipu Kai, 28 Verissimo Drive, PO Box 107039,
Auckland Airport 2150
Tel +64 9 254 4730 Freephone 0508NZFOOD

Course Places are limited and it is essential to complete and return the course registration form to ensure allocation of a place for the advertised course.


Cancellations received 21 days prior to the start of the course will incur a NZ$300 administration fee. No refunds will be paid after this date; however substitute delegates will be welcome. Courses may be cancelled and repayments will be made if numbers are insufficient by the registration closing date.

Who should attend
This course is especially targeted at food packaging technologists, food industry R&D staff, packaging manufacturers and regulatory scientists. Technical marketing staff will also find this course beneficial.

NB: Refreshments and morning/afternoon teas and lunches will be provided. Designated parking will be across the road behind Signode Building due to our Open Days. Please bring pen, paper, scientific calculator and highlighters and wear suitable closed footwear.

To register download the form here and send back to