The food supply chain includes manufacturing, packaging, distribution, storing, further processing, and cooking for consumption. Smart packaging that occurs along this chain could affect the quality, safety, and sustainability of food, according to authors of a Journal of Food Science study.
Researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Michigan State University wanted to investigate this further. “Packaging systems have evolved to be smarter with integration of emerging electronics and wireless communication and cloud data solutions,” they wrote. “Although there are many factors causing the loss and waste issues for foods throughout the whole supply chain of food and there have been several articles showing the recent advances and breakthroughs in developing smart packaging systems, this review integrates these conceptual frameworks and technological applications and focuses on how innovative smart packaging solutions are beneficial to the overall quality and safety of food supply by enhancing product traceability and reducing the amount of food loss and waste.”
One key finding of the study was that the utilization of smart packaging technologies in the food supply chain may help to improve quality, safety, integrity, and sustainability, according to the researchers. They also wrote about some of the benefits that smart packaging technologies could offer the food supply chain system, such as real-time monitoring and traceability of the products as they move through the chain. “These capabilities that are based on the integration of cutting‐edge technologies could provide accurate data of the product’s condition and, thus, could prevent theft, protect brand, and compliance as well as reducing food loss and waste.”