Food spoilage is the process of contamination of foods leading to loss of color, texture and their nutritive value, and permits growth of pathogenic microbes, which deteriorates the quality of the product and makes it non-edible.
Reducing the amount of moisture
Speaking to BakeryandSnacks at the AIPIA (Active & Intelligent, Packaging Industry Association) Congress 2016 in Amsterdam, Mercedes Hortal, director, ITENE Madrid, said its intelligent packaging can interact with sliced bread, reducing the amount of moisture and extending its shelf life.
Active antimicrobial packaging can modify the internal environment by continuous interaction with the food over the stipulated shelf life.
In this way, the packaging materials are actively interacting with the food product. Some active packaging systems include O2 or CO2 scavengers, ethylene and moisture absorption systems, CO2 or ethanol emitting systems, and antimicrobials antioxidants releasing or containing systems.
Other intelligent packaging technologies ITENE looks at are those that can give the consumer information about the deterioration of a product, which can help them make decisions about an uncertain expiration date.
For this, different colorimetric indicators (labels) are incorporated into the packaging and change color to show the level of freshness of the product, which has been exposed to different temperatures. The smart indicators provide information about food to avoid unnecessary product losses along the entire supply chain.
ITENE recently partnered with Chimigraf to develop an intelligent ink called FreshInk, which indicates the freshness of packaged chicken, in real time, by changing the color. The project is funded by the EU's Horizon 2020 initative.
The patented, solvent-based flexographic ink generates a reagent that continually provides a visual indication of the level of product freshness. As well as chicken, it can be used on fresh food products.