What are the Challenges of Smart Packaging Solutions?

Smart packaging solutions bring exciting features to improve shelf-life, monitor the quality of food, limit food wastage and generate more revenues, but some brand owners still think that it is the infancy stage. The reason is, challenges and obstacles ranging from the need for specific regulations, safety, privacy issues to expensive solutions must be overcome first. In this blog, we discuss the challenges of smart packaging solutions in detail.

  • No Specific Regulations

Although the market demand for a smart packaging solution is continuously rising, the industry doesn’t have proper directive and regulative measures for active and intelligent packaging. Moreover, smart packaging solution directives must also comply with framework regulations formed by EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).

Since a smart packaging system contains more components than the traditional system, it requires more regulations and legislation. Manufacturers and customers will require a large amount of time to comply with standard legislation and understand this fast-moving sector. 

  • Safety and Protection

Safety and protection of food from smart packaging solutions is also a major concern. Active and intelligent packaging labels are made from synthetic dyes, solvents, and organic and inorganic elements. If these toxic compounds are fused into the food items, food may become a harmful and potential hazard. Proper measures and controlling conditions are required to protect the food from these toxic ingredients of packaging.

  • Limitation of Natural Pigments

Few companies use natural ingredients to design active packaging. Chromium, cadmium, cobalt pigments, carotenoids, and chlorophylls are the names of natural pigments that change color due to changing conditions of temperature, pressure and other atmospheric properties. Although these natural pigments are essential for indicating users’ quality of food, they provide low stability on an industrial scale. Another limitation of using natural ingredients is that they may react with gases, light, metal ions and microbes and thus provide an inaccurate food quality status.

But the implementation of nanotechnology can overcome this problem as it can increase the stability of natural pigments. 

  • Privacy Limitations

As we know that smart packaging solutions help the retailing stores to offer a customized or personalized experience, however, collecting sensitive information about user’s behavior, identity, preferences, and location is a challenging task. Encrypting mechanism and authentication are needed to protect the valuable information against counterfeiting and tampering. 

Cryptographic and blockchain technologies are top leading and potential technologies to protect the data against counterfeiting, but the deployment of these technologies in smart packaging system creates complexity also.

  • Demand for Manufacturing Techniques

For the implementation of smart packaging solutions across the supply chain stores, manufacturers will require fabricating sensors, circuits, indicators and other components. And these techniques must be compatible with the conventional packaging solutions.

Nevertheless, printing manufacturing techniques can be used to fabricate sensors and indicators due to its flexibility to defuse these electronics.

  • Cost

Although we can find extensive research material related to smart packaging, the strategy is still under the manufacturing process. It shows the deployment of smart packaging solution would require more cost than conventional packaging solution.

Final Thoughts

Smart packaging means smart investment and connected packaging is the future of the digital era. Smart packaging solutions provide you with everything to improve the supply chain store, distribution center, and local providers’ productivity. High reliability, visibility, transparency, anti-tampering and anti-counterfeiting can be achieved through smart packaging solutions if companies overcome above-mentioned challenges and limitations. Fabricating manufacturing techniques, Internet of Things are the solutions for the smart packaging limitations. Retailing experts must work on these techniques to tackle the challenges and benefit from smart packaging solutions.