Smart Packaging for Food Products

Smart packaging” or “Smart Food Contact Substances and Materials” are described as substances and materials that track packaged food conditions and the atmosphere in which they are packaged. It is structured to transmit knowledge on the quality and status of the food to the customer. Basically, there are two kinds of packaging, in short, which illustrate the external conditions and evaluate the quality of the food directly. Smart packaging tools are tags or labels that are applied or printed on the packaging material on the inner or outer package. Not only practically, but also in the volume of data it can carry, the form of how it collects and distributes the data varies from each other. It is easy to use several smart appliances together on the packaging.

With the continuous expansion of the global populace, food loss and pollution has become a major concern and has drawn considerable interest. 1.3 billion tons of food items are lost or discarded worldwide, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and these losses or wastes can occur at any point in the supply chain from field to table. Food loss and waste can affect global sustainability, ecological and human health, and natural supplies. This is another significant factor for looking at smart packaging technologies to reduce degradation, both at the consumer and industrial levels.

Innovations have a persuasive desire to actually guarantee food sustainability. In addition to complementing traditional packaging features, advanced technological developments in Smart Packaging systems are evolving and have recently been embraced by the pharmaceutical and food industries as a method or solution to prolong the lifespan of food items, rendering it easier for the manufacturing phase, mitigating food contamination and waste, eliminating additives, and most notably offering quality and customer satisfaction. Current benefits of using Smart Packaging can be summarized as:

  • Maintain quality by eliminating spoilage effectively (shelf-life)
  • Develop the qualities of the product (e.g. appearance, taste, flavor, fragrance, etc)
  • Responsive reaction to changes to the commodity or package climate
  • Observe product records, product history, or status to the consumer
  • Ensuring the seal quality thanks to smart devices and authentication
  • Ensure the validity of goods and respond to counterfeit.

Technical elements, including temperature control systems, may be applied to avoid rapid decay and infection by bacteria.  Intelligent packaging that helps to share reliable knowledge about the state of a commodity and the credibility of packaging in the food supply chain is another new technical approach. In reality, advanced packaging techniques can also help to increase the shelf life of specific food items, especially with regard to sensors, nose systems, indicators, and RFID as key technologies within smart packaging systems. Another essential feature of linked packaging is to increase the traceability of goods in regular operations. In general, traceability enables the capacity to provide reliable data at any time and stage within the supply chain regarding the geolocation of the commodity, as well as shipment, delivery, and during their stay in a retail store, etc.

Such technologies, focused on the introduction of state-of-the-art technology, will provide reliable product data, and thereby deter fraud, ensure brand safety and security, as well as mitigate food loss and waste. The incorporation of emerging technology into current and conventional packaging continues to require multidisciplinary professional cooperation, consumer demand, and also where appropriate, encouragement, and implementation from legal bodies.