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Food "smart" packaging is safer and more effective

in order to ensure food safety and prevent consumers from eating spoiled food by mistake, scientists have developed some new packaging technologies that can indicate whether food is spoiled and extend the shelf life of food. These technologies are collectively referred to as "active packaging technology" or "smart packaging technology"

"smart" food comes from "active" packaging. In order to delay the deterioration of food due to oxidation, the current common practice is to put an iron powder bag in the bag of imitation flocking interior materials that can improve the texture of interior materials, and use the oxidation process of iron to consume the oxygen in the package. However, some customers do not like to see small packages printed with the words "do not eat" in the food. The new packaging is to add a layer of "oxygen absorbing" material to the packaging paper, which can make them feel much more comfortable. For another example, some fresh-keeping foods need to be kept at low temperature, otherwise the bacteria in them will become active, leading to food deterioration. A new type of label indicating time and temperature is pasted on the package. When the temperature rises, the chemical components will polymerize, and the color of the label will change accordingly. From this, customers can know what temperature the food is stored at, how long it has been stored, and how fresh it is

according to the British New Scientist, this kind of technology known as "active packaging" has been put into use in the United States, France and other places. Many companies realize that the potential commercial benefits of satisfying customers with the freshness of their products are huge. Compared with this, the additional cost of developing and using new technologies is nothing but a small amount. At present, some companies in the United States are developing fresh-keeping instruction packaging for frozen food. The new packaging can monitor the gas released from the decay and deterioration of meat, fish or vegetables due to improper freezing. Different fruits and vegetables require different concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and packaging technologies for this feature are also being developed. A company in California is developing a packaging film, which can change its permeability with temperature to meet the different needs of different fruits and vegetables for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Food technology researchers estimate that in the future, 20%-40% of food packaging will apply "active packaging" technology

food packaging researchers found that some materials can absorb the oxygen in the packaging bag; Some materials will interact with the gas produced when the food goes bad to change the color; Some materials change color when the temperature changes. If the food is packaged with such materials, it will help to prevent the food from oxidative deterioration or provide consumers with more information about whether the food is safe

because these active material packages have the function of showing food safety, many companies are cooperating to study this "active package" in various forms. France's "no two price" supermarket chain is using a packaging technology called "time and temperature indication" on many fresh foods. It is actually a label that shows how long a food has been stored at a certain temperature. The label is like a shooting target. It has a transparent ring with many rings. The central ring contains a chemical substance. This chemical will polymerize with time and temperature, and change from transparent to black. If the packaged food is kept at a low temperature, the polymer reaction of the chemical substance will be very slow. Once the temperature increases, the polymerization reaction will accelerate, and the chemical substance will turn black on the basis of the national development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce on the combination of the catalogue of foreign investment industries and the catalogue of foreign investment advantageous industries in central and western regions. As the bacteria on food increase with the increase of temperature and time, when the chemicals turn black, it means that the food is no longer fresh. Consumers can judge whether the food has been stored at high temperature for a long time by the color changes of these labels

another food safety indicator packaging technology studied by researchers is a kind of plastic disc doped with dye, which can show whether meat and vegetables are deteriorated by interacting with the gas released by the food in the packaging bag. After the plastic sheet is put into the food packaging bag, if the food in the packaging bag rots, it will release gas to change the color of the plastic sheet. Consumers can know whether the food has gone bad according to the color of the plastic sheet

to prolong the fresh-keeping period, fruits and vegetables of different types need to be kept fresh under a certain concentration of oxygen and nitrogen dioxide, which is difficult to control in sealed packaging bags. Because when the temperature is high, the fruits or vegetables in the packaging bag will consume more oxygen and release more nitrogen dioxide. Therefore, if not adjusted, the fresh-keeping period of food will be affected

in order to solve this problem, a company in lo Park, California, USA is researching a packaging film called intelimer. When the temperature changes, the membrane will change its permeability, so that different foods can be kept under the optimal concentration ratio of oxygen and nitrogen dioxide

another method to slow down the deterioration of food is to use an oxygen scavenger to remove oxygen and control the air environment in the packaging bag, so as to avoid oxidative deterioration of food. To this end, a New Jersey seal gas company is producing a packaging material that can remove oxygen by itself. This material has an oxidizable polymer inner layer, which can capture and consume the oxygen in the packaging like iron powder

source: packing Report

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