Packaging cares Product, People, and Planet – Dr. Kirtiraj K. Gaikwad

Dr. Kirtiraj K. Gaikwad
Assistant Professor, Packaging Technology Discipline
Department of Paper Technology
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
Uttarakhand, India

Dr. Kirtiraj K. Gaikwad, born in a Patanbori a village in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra (India), has over 5 years of professional experience in teaching and research. He has done B.Tech in Food Science from Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University, Akola, Maharashtra, India; M.Tech in Food Technology from Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture Science and Technology, Allahabad, India, MS in Packaging from Michigan State University, USA and Ph.D. in Packaging from most reputed university in the world that is Yonsei University, South Korea. Currently, an Assistant Professor of Packaging Technology in the Paper Technology Department, IIT Roorkee. Before joining IIT Roorkee, Dr. Gaikwad worked as Post-doctoral Scientist at Department of Chemical Engg., Ecole de Polytechnic, Montreal, Canada. Dr. Gaikwad has 37 research papers in peer-reviewed international journals and 3 book chapters and has 2 Indian patents to his credit. He has written 1 book. At present, he is supervising 5 Ph.D. students, Dr. Gaikwad, currently handling several national and international sponsored research projects. He has visited several countries including USA, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, South Korea, China, His professional details can be seen at https://www.iitr.ac.in/~DPT/Kirtiraj_K__Gaikwad .

Q1. What are your day-to-day activities as an IIT Professor?

The main focus of my job is teaching courses in M.Tech. and PhD and to develop new ideas about packaging science through research activity. An important activity is to work one-on-one with the Ph.D. students of my “Functional food packaging research group” at IIT Roorkee, and as a team, we try to create, prove, or evaluate new ideas in the food packaging field. At present, I am guiding 5 Ph.D. research scholars and 4 MTech students of Packaging Technology.

 Q2. What do you love about your job?

Pretty much everything. I enjoy teaching, research,  partnering with academia and industry members to develop research projects (love the creative process!), working closely with my research team members, interchanging experiences with colleagues at annual meetings, conferences, and expos, etc. 

Q3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job?

To ensure knowledge transfer in the classroom and laboratory setting! As with other professors/researchers in my field, I have the responsibility and honor to build the new leaders of the food packaging industry

Q4. Upon pass out of high school, did you know that you wanted to do something in this profession, or did you become interested in the profession during college years?

After high school, I studied food Technology at university with the idea that a basic degree in an area would serve as a springboard for future endeavours. After graduation, I realized then that packaging was a dynamic field with a great need for testing and development of materials. I decided then that I wanted to be part of that process.

Q5. How did you become aware of packaging technology as a career?

I realized that in order to build a good package system, it was critical to thoroughly understand what was inside the package. That was my initial motivation. Once I became involved in packaging science, I realized that it was also an interesting and dynamic field.

Dr. Kirtiraj K. Gaikwad

Q6. How is science related to packaging?

It is important to understand the physical chemistry characteristics of a packaging material as well as the packaging system in order to determine how the material will perform. Performance depends on maintaining the integrity of the package system throughout the life of the product. Also, the packaging system should not interfere with the product-there should be no migration of components or additives from the package to the product or from the product to the packaging material.

Q7. What is the importance of packaging in our life?

The role of packaging is quite extensive,

  • The package must provide protection throughout the life of the product.
  • The package must maintain product quality and integrity throughout the shelf life.
  • The package must clearly communicate information such as ingredients, nutrition information, instructions, etc.
  • The package often serves as a very powerful marketing tool.

Packaging is one of the most expensive components of the total cost of the food product. Over-packaging could mean a loss of competitiveness. Under-packaging a product is a safety risk. The goal is to develop a package that provides the optimum protection required for the product throughout distribution. Packaging cares Product, People, and Planet

Q8. What piece of advice would you give to students thinking about a career in Packaging Science and Technology?

The field of Packaging Science and Technology is very wide and includes diverse areas like material analysis, food safety, analysis, marketing, safety and production. It is important to take the time to explore many of the different possibilities as an undergraduate. If in the future you decide to go into graduate studies, you can then focus more on those areas that interest you the most. Packaging Technology is a very unique career that will provide you with opportunities for innovation and growth.

Get more about Dr. Kirtiraj K Gaikwad @

Personnel Website: https://sites.google.com/site/kirtirajkgaikwad
ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kirtiraj_Gaikwad
Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.in/citations?user=4UnJxWgAAAAJ&hl=en
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirtiraj-k-gaikwad-phd-fls-45518b43/