The use of advanced materials and technologies in food packaging has helped to reduce food waste and increase the shelf life of products, contributing to improved sustainability efforts. Food packaging plays a crucial role in the modern food industry. New food packaging technologies seek to meet the demands of consumers and industry. Changes related to food production, sales practices and consumer lifestyles, together with environmental awareness and advances in new areas of knowledge (such as nanotechnology or biotechnology), act as driving forces to develop intelligent packaging that can extend the shelf life of food, maintaining and monitoring its safety and quality, and also caring for the environment.
This review describes the main concepts and types of active and intelligent food packaging, focusing on recent developments and new trends that use biodegradable and bio-based polymers. Numerous studies show the great possibilities of these materials. Future research must focus on some important aspects, such as scalability, costs, regulatory aspects and consumer acceptance, to make these systems commercially viable. Current food production and consumption practices generate a large amount of packaging, and new forms of packaging are constantly being developed.
Food packaging represents the greatest demand in the packaging industry, since approximately two-thirds of all the material produced is used to package food. First, the pandemic can undermine trust in food systems by increasing concerns about food safety, leading consumers to reevaluate plastics as guarantors of food safety. These trends reflect the interest in these new packaging technologies, which focus on a safer and more efficient food supply chain, reducing food loss and waste and avoiding unnecessary transport and logistics from an early stage. The growing demand for fresh and quality packaged foods, consumer convenience and the concern of manufacturers to extend the shelf life of food products are driving the global market for active and intelligent packaging technology for the food and beverage market.
As the ramifications of the virus and the subsequent lockdowns continue to develop, two main areas of concern are the impact on food systems and the impact of plastic packaging for poorly managed food on the environment (e). Beyond the question of food security, researchers may wonder what the effects are on consumer preferences and attitudes, especially when food inflation is higher in some types of food than in others. The direct addition of antioxidants to the surface of foods may have the limitation that, once the active compounds are consumed in the reaction, protection ceases and the quality of the food degrades more rapidly. New aspects of EU regulation and global market for active and intelligent packaging for food industry applications.
In addition, food quality parameters, such as color or taste, can change, and consumers currently prefer the exclusion of additives in food. However, ethanol can be absorbed by the food product, generating unpleasant odors, which could be reduced by heating the food before consumption. While trust in the food system remained strong, respondents were divided on the importance of concerns about COVID-19 when deciding whether or not to buy food packaged in single-use plastic. This is an important finding in its own right, reflecting the considerable successes of industry and government in maintaining confidence in the food system during a major crisis.
Confidence in food safety can be considered one of the many origins of consumers' willingness to choose environmentally friendly alternatives instead of plastic food packaging. However, the most important concern in the use of sachets is the accidental leakage of components inside the food package, which can damage food and pose a threat to the consumer. This method can expand the conditions of fresh food products and has been applied to perishable food products. This suggests a different mechanism from that of concerns about food security; potentially, this trend could be based on an increase in home and takeaway orders among younger demographic groups.