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Resource Articles

Active and Intelligent Packaging: Innovations for the Future

By Karleigh Huff, Department of Food Science and Technology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Food packaging exists to make our lives easier. We need packaging to contain foods, protect foods from the outside environment, for convenience, and to communicate information to consumers about the food inside the package. Containment is the most basic function of a package. Even fresh produce, which is displayed unpackaged at the store, must be transported out of the store in some type of container. Packaging provides protection of food from adulteration by water, gases, microorganisms, dust, and punctures, to name a few. A food package communicates important information about the product, how to prepare it, and information about the nutritional content. Packaging also allows for consumers to enjoy food the way they want, at their convenience. Food packages can be geared toward a persons own lifestyle through designs like portability and single serving dishes. Although traditional packaging covers the basic needs of food containment, advances in food packaging are both anticipated and expected. Society is becoming increasingly complex and innovative packaging is the result of consumers\\\' demand for packaging that is more advanced and creative than what is currently offered. Active packaging and intelligent packaging are the result of innovating thinking in packaging.

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Active Packaging for Food Applications 

By Brody, Strupinsky, and Kline

Active packaging, sometimes referred to as interactive or “smart” packaging, is intended to sense internal or external environmental change and to respond by changing its own properties or attributes and hence the internal package environment. Active packaging has been considered a component of the packaging discipline for several decades or since the first inclusion of desiccants in dry product packages. In their own moisture-permeable sachets, desiccants absorb water vapor from the contained product and from the package headspace, and absorb any water vapor that enters by permeation or transmission through the package structure. As separate entities within packages, active packaging sachets, pouches, patches, coupons, labels, etc., are not often integral to the package—a semantic differentiation.

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Active Packaging Technologies with an Emphasis on Antimicrobial Packaging and its Applications

By P. SUPPAKUL, J. MILTZ, K. SONNEVELD, AND S.W. BIGGER

In response to the dynamic changes in current consumer demand and market trends, the area of Active Packaging (AP) is becoming increasingly significant. Principal AP systems include those that involve oxygen scavenging, moisture absorption and control, carbon dioxide and ethanol generation, and antimicrobial (AM) migrating and non-migrating systems. Of these active packaging systems, the AM version is of great importance. This article reviews: (1) the different categories of AP concepts with particular regard to the activity of AM packaging and its effects on food products, (2) the development of AM and AP materials, and (3) the current and future applications of AM packaging.

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Antimicrobial Food Packaging to Enhance Food Safety: Current Developments and Future Challenges

By Sunil Mangalassary

The post-processing contamination is one of the major causes of foodborne illness and the associated food product recalls; a major public health issue and an economic burden for the food industry [1]. Therefore, post-processing antimicrobial interventions are gaining significance in order to control the growth of bacteria that contaminate the food product after the primary lethal treatment. Packaging of foods is one of the final steps in food processing before storage and consumption and therefore is a critical step for incorporating antimicrobial mechanisms especially to control the post-processing contamination. Antimicrobial packaging is a promising form of active packaging to improve safety and shelf-life of food products. In antimicrobial packaging, agents may be coated, incorporated, immobilized, or surface modified onto packaging materials [2]. Many compounds such as organic acids, bacteriocins, enzymes, spices and polysaccharides (chitosan) have been tried in antimicrobial packaging with varying degree of success.

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Incorporation of Antimicrobial Agents in Food Packaging Films and Coatings

Editors: Ramón Gerardo Guevara-González and Irineo Torres-Pacheco

Food quality and safety are major concerns in the food industry. Antimicrobial packaging can be considered an emerging technology that could have a significant impact on shelf life extension and food safety. Use of antimicrobial agents in food packaging can control the microbial population and target specific microorganisms to provide higher safety and quality products. Many classes of antimicrobial compounds have been evaluated in film structures, synthetic polymers and edible films. The characteristics of some antimicrobial packaging systems are reviewed in this article.

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Journal of Food Processing & Technology 

Volume 8,  Issue 1

Active & Intelligent Packaging World is published 10 times a year. Each issue includes consultancy-level articles that provide independent analysis and exclusive primary market data on active, intelligent and other shelf-life enhancing packaging technologies, as well as news reporting on R&D activity, pilots and launches of active and smart packaging technologies.

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