Active Packaging Technologies with an Emphasis on Antimicrobial Packaging and Its Applications

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Concise Reviews in Food Science

Concise Reviews and Hypotheses in Food Science

Active Packaging Technologies with an Emphasis on Antimicrobial Packaging and its Applications P. SUPPAKUL, J. MILTZ, K. SONNEVELD, AND S.W. BIGGER ABSTRACT: In response to the dynamic changes in current consumer demand and market trends, the area of Active Packaging (AP) is becoming increasingly significant. Principal AP systems include those that involve oxygen scavenging, moisture absorption and control, carbon dioxide and ethanol generation, and antimicrobial (AM) migrating and nonmigrating systems. Of these active packaging systems, the AM version is of great importance. This article reviews: (1) the different categories of AP concepts with particular regard to the activity of AM packaging and its effects on food products, (2) the development of AM and AP materials, and (3) the current and future applications of AM packaging. Keywords: active packaging, antimicrobial packaging, antimicrobial additives

for innovation in food packaging technology have been the increase in consumer demand for minimally processed foods, the change in retail and distribution practices associated with globalization, new consumer product logistics, new distribution trends (such as Internet shopping), automatic handling systems at distribution centers, and stricter requirements regarding consumer health and safety (Vermeiren and others 1999; Sonneveld 2000). Active Packaging (AP) technologies are being developed as a result of these driving forces. Active Packaging is an innovative concept that can be defined as a mode of packaging in which the package, the product, and the environment interact to prolong shelf life or enhance safety or sensory properties, while maintaining the quality of the product. This is particularly important in the area of fresh and extended shelf-life foods as originally described by Labuza and Breene (1989). Flores and others (1997) reviewed the products and patents in the area of AP and identified antimicrobial (AM) packaging as one of the most promising versions of an AP system. Han (2000) and Vermeiren and others (2002) recently published articles focused on AM systems, but without a detailed discussion of some of the principal AP concepts. The present article reviews the general principles of AP and AM packaging concepts including oxygen scavenging, moisture absorption and control, carbon 408



dioxide and ethanol generation, and it reviews in detail AM migrating and nonmigrating systems.

Oxygen Scavenging Systems
is often a key factor that limits the shelf life of a product. Oxidation can cause changes in flavor, color, and odor, as well as destroy nutrients and facilitate the growth of aerobic bacteria, molds, and insects. Therefore, the removal of O2 from the package headspace and from the solution in liquid foods and beverages, has long been a target of the food-packaging scientists. The deterioration in quality of O2-sensitive products can be minimized by recourse to O2 scavengers that remove the residual O2 after packing. Existing O 2 scavenging technologies are based on oxidation of 1 or more of the following substances: iron powder, ascorbic acid, photo-sensitive dyes, enzymes (such as glucose oxidase and ethanol oxidase), unsaturated fatty acids (such as oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids), rice extract, or immobilized yeast on a solid substrate (Floros and others 1997). These materials are normally contained in a sachet. Details on O2 scavenging can be obtained from other reviews (Labuza and Breen 1989; Miltz and others 1995; Miltz and Perry 2000; Floros and others 1997; Vermeiren and others 1999). Oxygen scavenging is an effective way to prevent growth of aerobic bacteria and molds in dairy and bakery products. Oxygen concentrations of 0.1% v/v or less in the headspace are required for this purpose


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