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Barriers and Opportunities

Barriers and opportunities for smart and active food packaging.
Sealed bag of nuts
© QUB

Looking forward, there are a number of barriers and opportunities for active and smart packaging.

Active and intelligent packaging presents the following opportunities to the food system:

  • Improved Sustainability: The use of new and innovative materials responsibly sourced and recyclable

  • Extend Shelf-Life: New and improved food packaging materials can help to extend food shelf-life and potentially open up new export market opportunities

  • Reduce Food Waste: Packaging diagnostics and freshness indicators can reduce food waste.

  • End of the barcode: The rise of radio-frequency identification (RFID), databars and invisible watermarking technologies covering the entire food packaging could eliminate barcodes, reducing transaction times, increasing inventory accuracy and allowing greater traceability.

However, there are also a number of risks associated with the adoption of active and intelligent food packaging:

  • Consumer Perception: Consumers may not understand or accept the benefits provided by active and intelligent packaging.

  • Risk Assessment: Risk assessment and approval of new technologies for use in the food industry can be slow.

  • Knowledge Gaps: If active and intelligent packaging is utilised without adequate testing this could result in malfunctions. In turn, this negatively affects consumer acceptance.

  • Recycability: The use of scare resources, such as data chips, that aren’t recycled after use could lead to greater material loss.

What we would like you to do

Please share your thoughts on the opportunities and barriers to the adoption of active and intelligent food packaging in the comments section below:

  • Can you think of any other opportunities or barriers?
  • What is your perception of active and intelligent food packaging?
© QUB
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