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Active and intelligent packaging: Applications and regulatory aspects

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Author: Kruijf, N. de · Beest, M. van · Rijk, R. · Sipiläinen-Malm, T. · Paseiro Losada, P. · Meulenaer, B. de
Type:article
Date:2002
Institution: TNO Voeding Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:Food Additives and Contaminants, SUPPL., 19, 144-162
Identifier: 236525
Keywords: Active food packaging · Freshness · Integrity · Intelligent food packaging · Legislation · Packaged food · Quality · Regulation · Safety · Consumer · Controlled study · Economic aspect · Environmental impact · Europe · Food handling · Food industry · Food packaging · Food quality · Food safety · Food storage · Human · Legal aspect · Marketing · Priority journal · Quality control · Shelf life · Europe · Food · Food Contamination · Food Microbiology · Food Packaging · Food Preservation · Free Radical Scavengers · Legislation, Food

Abstract

Changes in the way foods are produced, distributed, stored and retailed, reflecting the continuing increase in consumer demands for improved quality and extended shelf-life for packaged foods, are placing ever-greater demands on the performance of food packaging. Consumers want to be assured that the packaging is fulfilling its function of protecting the integrity, quality, freshness and safety of foods. To provide this assurance and help improve the performance of the packaging, innovative active and intelligent packaging concepts are being developed and applied in various countries. In Europe, however, the development and application of active and intelligent packaging systems have been limited thus far. The main reasons are legislative restrictions and a lack of knowledge about consumer acceptance, the efficacy of such systems, and the economic and environmental impact they may have. Therefore, in 1999, a European study was started within the framework of the EU FAIR R&D programme. It aims to initiate amendments to European legislation for food-contact materials to establish and implement active and intelligent systems within the current relevant regulations for packaged food in Europe. This paper presents an overview of existing active and intelligent systems and their current and future food-related applications. In addition, developments and trends in active and intelligent food packaging are discussed. The objectives and the work programme of the European project are reviewed and the results obtained so far are presented. The benefits for both the European consumer and the European food and food-packaging industries are highlighted.Chemicals/CAS: Free Radical Scavengers