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Packaging for Microwave Cooking and Warming

The comprehensive laboratory investigation of microwaveable products presented on the food market has revealed that practically all of them have problems with either cooking instructions or packaging. Typical faults are understated reheating time, non-optimal packaging materials, their shape and compositions, lack of food protection against local overheating, use of same packaging solutions for foods with different water content, dielectric properties, and geometries. Forthe companies thatproduceorsellfood packaging,ready mealsorready-to-cookmicrowave, it isnecessary to havecomprehensive andupdatedknowledge.This is achieved by attendig the course"Packagingformicrowave cooking and warming"

Why participate

In a world that always seems pressed for time, ready to heat microwaveable products are convenient and popular snacking and even dining options. As microwaveable food demands increase, consumers want tastier, more nutritious options that deliver a ‘home made’ experience. Often, microwavable products fall short of providing a ‘home made’ or fresh cooked texture profile and taste experience. In particular, they present a challenge in the microwave because of textural changes that occur during heating from chilled or frozen. For example, bread-based products, e.g. sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, rolls etc., out of a traditional oven presents as ‘fresh’, but when frozen and re-heated both with and without other components in the microwave, will lose its texture and flavor. Packaging Section of Technological Institute sees its mission in helping manufacturers of microwaveable food products to meet exacting consumer’s demands by means of conveying knowledge of up-to-date packaging solutions for microwavable food products, and is therefore pleased to announce this course.

Expected results

Learners will get a comprehensive overview of the cutting-edge packaging solutions and products for microwave re-heating and cooking. After attending the course, they will be able to develop their own packaging and even design new food products intended for microwave ovens. Participants will get the possibility for the free phone and e-mail consultations regarding microwave packaging within the next 6 month after attending the course

Participant profile

Packaging and food engineers and technologists, sales and marketing consultants and managers, and others with professional interest in food packaging


Alexander Bardenshtein, R&D Manager, Ph.D., has 25 years of R&D experience in the field of heating, processing and decontamination of materials (including food products and packaging) by means of electromagnetic radiation (e.g. X-rays, laser beams, microwaves and terahertz waves), electron and ion beams, gas-discharge plasma, high-power ultrasound, and steam. His day-to-day work is devoted to R&D, test, and consulting in the field of new materials and solutions for active packaging, including packaging for microwaveable food products, as well as the active packaging that controls temperature, oxygen- and water-vapor concentration in the head space etc.


Partition 1. General principles of microwave heating (1.5 hour with a 5-minute break)

  1. Domestic microwave ovens: standards, constructions, manufacturers, physical characteristics
  2. Dielectric properties of food and absorption of microwaves
  3. Transformation of microwave energy into heat, thermal properties of food, and estimation of required reheating time
  4. Temperature-induced variations of microwave absorption, thermal runaway phenomenon
  5. Effects of shape and dimensions of food on microwave heating
  6. Guidelines for microwave cooking
  7. Interaction of microwaves with metals: reflection and transmission, skin effect and susceptibility

Partition 2. Packaging for microwave reheating and cooking (1.5 hour with a 5-minute break)

  1. Main packaging components and materials
  2. Protection of food against overheating and control of microwaving using reflective films and coatings
  3. Susceptors. Microwave frying, roasting, toasting, and backing
  4. Packaging for multicomponent products containing food products with different dielectric properties and/or heating requirements
  5. Critical analysis of microwave food products presented on the market
  6. Guidelines for microwave packaging design

Partition 3. Practical training (3 hours)

  1. Finding necessary and sufficient microwaving time for three different products. On-line monitoring of the food core temperature by means of infra-red fiber optic sensors will be used. The exercise is aimed at acquiring food temperature measurement skills and illustration of peculiarities of microwave reheating of frozen and unfrozen food.

Revelation of hot and cold spots in microwaved food productsand active protection against overheating. Infrared thermography camera will be used for post factum thermal imaging of microwave-steamed food products in active packaging. The exercise is aimed at acquiring skills in the infrared thermography and understanding of main principles of microwave minimal-water steaming


A member discount of 12.5 % is granted members of Packaging and Logistics. Furthermore they will have the possibility of phone and e-mail consultations concerning packaging for microwave cooking until six months after the course is concluded.

The Course is held in English.

The participant number is limited to 8 persons, as the tests are made in our Microwave Laboratory.

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