Packaging plays a key role in slowing quality decay. That is why it contributes significantly to the safe delivery and preservation of food. However, complete elimination of the quality loss is not possible. Intrinsic properties of highly perishable foods change after being processed. This can lead to an increase in quality (e.g., the ripening of fruits to a certain level) or to a quality loss. Depending on the contents of the package, biological, chemical, or physical processes occur, which ultimately lead to spoilage of the product. These changes are in most cases difficult to assess by the consumers, throwing away products that would be suitable for consumption.

To reduce this unintentional product waste, so-called intelligent packaging could be used. Intelligent packaging closes the gap between consumers and the industry. These systems monitor permanently the quality status of a product and share the information with the customer. In this way, food waste can be reduced, and customer satisfaction can be optimized.

Their application area should be perishable products, such as meat or fish. It must be taken into consideration, customers always want better quality and more information about the products, but most of them are not willing to pay more for that. For this reason, intelligent packaging systems are not very widespread in the market yet. The additional costs make dealers/brand owners’ acceptance more difficult. To overcome this problem, further research and improvement measures must be conducted, enabling more extensive use of this technology.

SHEALTHY project combines different no-thermal technologies in order to preserve organoleptic and nutritive properties through minimal processing methods. Among them, intelligent packaging will be used to extend the shelf-life of the products and ensure authenticity. This technology will be combined with other non-thermal technology such as bioactive coatings.

Our trans-disciplinary team combines all the relevant skills and organizations needed to address the full extent of the challenge of developing, assessing, and validating the technical and economic feasibility of mild technologies and methods for minimal food processing. A new way of preserving (S)HEALTHY food will be achieved!

If you want to know more, check out the following link.

Intelligent packaging in the food sector. A brief overview