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Active Packaging &

Intelligent Packaging
Food Storage and Packaging

Food Science & Technology

Brawijaya University 2015



Additives incorporation
Within packaging
Extend/ maintain shelf
has been used with many food
Scavenging oxygen ;
adsorbing carbon dioxide, moisture,
ethylene and/or flavour/odour taints;
releasing ethanol, sorbates, antioxidants
and/or other preservatives;
maintaining temperature control.


capable of sensing and providing information
can provide assurances of pack integrity,
tamper evidence, product safety and quality,
utilised in applications such as product
authenticity, anti-theft and product traceability



time-temperature indicators
gas sensing dyes
microbial growth indicators
physical shock indicators
tamper proof
anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft

Active vs Intelligent
Active packaging
changes the condition
of the packed food
extend shelflife
improve safety or
sensory properties
maintaining the
quality of the
packaged food.

Intelligent packaging
monitor the condition
of packaged foods
give information about
the quality of the
packaged food during
transport and storage.

Oxygen Scavenger
Oxygen detrimental effects on foods.
Oxygen scavengers help:
maintain food product quality by decreasing
food metabolism,
reducing oxidative rancidity,
Inhibiting oxidation of pigments and
controlling enzymic discolouration
inhibiting the growth of aerobic

Oxygen Scavenger
Market : Japan, USA, Europe
Usage : polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, bottle
caps and crowns for beers and other beverages
Form : small sachets containing various iron based
powders combined with a suitable catalyst.
Mechanism : the chemical systems react with water
supplied by the food produce a reactive hydrated
metallic reducing agent that scavenges oxygen within
the food package irreversibly converts it to a stable
The iron powder is separated from the food by keeping it
in a small, highly oxygen permeable sachet that is
labelled Do not eat.

Oxygen Scavenger
The main advantage of using such oxygen scavengers
is that they are capable of reducing oxygen levels to
less than 0.01% which is much lower than the typical
0.33.0% residual oxygen levels achievable by modified
atmosphere packaging (MAP). Oxygen scavengers can
be used alone or in combination with MAP
Their use alone eliminates the need for MAP machinery
and can increase packaging speeds
common commercial practice to remove most of the
atmospheric oxygen by MAP and then use a relatively
small and inexpensive scavenger to mop up the
residual oxygen remaining within the food package

Oxygen Scavenger
Disadvantage : risk of being swallowed/
accidentally digested by consumer
Solution : oxygen scavenging adhesive
labels that can be applied to the inside of
packages and the incorporation of oxygen
scavenging materials into laminated trays
and plastic films have enhanced and will
encourage the commercial acceptance of
this technology

Oxygen Scavenger :
Marks & Spencer Ltd (first UK retailer to use oxygen
scavenging adhesive labels ) sliced cooked and
cured meat and poultry products
coffee, pizzas, speciality bakery goods and dried food
cakes, breads, biscuits, croissants, fresh pastas,
cured fish, tea, powdered milk, dried egg, spices,
herbs, confectionery and snack food
Toyo Seikan Kaisha Ltd marketed a laminate
containing a ferrous oxygen scavenger which can be
thermoformed into an Oxyguard tray used
commercially for cooked rice

Source: Coles, et al.


Oxygen Scavenger :
Oxygen scavenger materials :
Iron based
High aw/ wet condition loss of scavenging

Non-iron based : non-metallic reagents

& organo-metallic agents
Have the same affinity as iron
Speed & capacity is lower than iron-based
Ascorbic acid



Functional Bottles Barrier Bottles

SiBARD : SiOx Barrier-layer Development : Silicon Oxide Coated PET

SiBARD blocks out

external gas and
retains the flavor
components of its
for food oil (highly
susceptive to
degradation) and

Functional Bottles Barrier Bottles

Oxygen Scavenger

Proprietary oxygen
scavenger (SIRIUS)
is used as a barrier
agent offering an
preservation ability.
Recyclability equal
to general PET


Scavenger can be placed in

different region of the


Protecting oxygen-sensitive goods


Carbon dioxide scavengers/

Carbon dioxide scavengers particularly
applicable for fresh roasted or ground coffees
produce significant volumes of carbon dioxide.
Fresh roasted or ground coffees absorb
moisture and oxygen and lose easily desirable
volatile aromas and flavours
Solution :
use packaging with patented one-way valves that
will allow excess carbon dioxide to escape.
use a carbon dioxide scavenger or a dual-action
oxygen and carbon dioxide scavenger system.

CO2 Scavenger :
Mixture of calcium oxide and activated
charcoal in polyethylene coffee pouches
Dual-action oxygen and carbon dioxide
scavenger sachets and labels common &
commercially used for canned and foil pouched
coffees in Japan and the USA
contain iron powder for scavenging oxygen, and
calcium hydroxide which scavenges carbon dioxide.
commercially available:
Ageless type E and Fresh Lock (Mitsubishi )
Freshilizer type CV (Toppan Printing Co Ltd.)

CO2 Emitter
Carbon dioxide emitting sachet and label devices can
either be used alone or combined with an oxygen
An example of the former is the Verifrais package
manufactured by SARL Codimer (Paris, France)
extending the shelf life of fresh meats and fish
consists of a standard MAP tray but has a perforated false
bottom under which a porous sachet containing sodium
bicarbonate/ascorbate is positioned.
Mechanism : when exudate MAP meat or fish contacts the
sachets contents, carbon dioxide is emitted and this
antimicrobial gas can replace the carbon dioxide already
absorbed by the fresh food, so avoiding pack collapse

CO2 Emitter : Problems &

Problems ;
Pack collapse
development of a partial vacuum

Solution :
Use of dual action oxygen scavenger/carbon dioxide
emitter sachets and labels
Mechanism: absorb oxygen and generate an equal
volume of carbon dioxide.
These sachets and labels usually contain ferrous
carbonate and a metal halide catalyst although nonferrous variants are available. Commercial

CO2 Emitter : Application

Commercial manufacturers :
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. Ltd
(Ageless type G), and
Multisorb Technologies Inc. (Freshpax
type M).

Food applicaions :
snack food products, e.g. nuts and
sponge cakes

Absorbs Drips
Generate CO2 in pack inhibit microbial
growth & enhance shelf life



Ethylene scavengers
Ethylene (C2H4) = plant growth regulator
accelerates the respiration rate and subsequent
senescence of horticultural products such as fruit,
vegetables and flowers.
Important effects in plants:
induction of flowering in pineapples,
colour development in citrus fruits, bananas and
stimulation of root production in baby carrots and
development of bitter flavour in bulk delivered
cucumbers, but in most horticultural situations

Undesirable effects should be removed

Ethylene scavengers
Materials :
potassium permanganate (KMnO4)
immobilised on an inert mineral
substrate such as alumina or silica gel
Titanium dioxide
Activated carbon-based scavengers with
various metal catalysts
Minerals (ground & incorporated into
packaging material)

Ethylene scavengers
Mechanism :
KMnO4 oxidises ethylene to acetate and
in the process changes colour from purple to
brown indicates its remaining ethylene
scavenging capacity.

Available in
sachets to be placed inside produce packages
inside blankets or tubes that can be placed in
produce storage warehouses

Ethanol emitters
Ethanol = use as antimicrobial agent
Function :
effective against mould
inhibit the growth of yeasts and bacteria.

can be sprayed directly onto food products just
prior to packaging.
mould-free shelf life of bakery products can be
significantly extended after spraying with 95%
ethanol (0.51.5% (w/w)
More practical & safer method : films and sachets

Ethanol emitters:
Commercial app
Ethicap, Antimold 102 and
Negamold (Freund Industrial Co. Ltd),
Oitech (Nippon Kayaku Co. Ltd),
ET Pack (Ueno Seiyaku Co. Ltd)
Ageless type SE (Mitsubishi Gas
Chemical Co. Ltd).
Contain absorbed or encapsulated
ethanol in a carrier material which allows
the controlled release of ethanol vapour.

Ethanol emitters:
in practice
Ethicap (most commercially popular ethanol
emitter in Japan) consists of food-grade alcohol
(55%) and water (10%) adsorbed onto silicon dioxide
powder (35%) and contained in a sachet made of a
paper and ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer
To mask the odour of alcohol, some sachets contain
traces of vanilla or other flavours.
The sachets are labelled Do not eat contents and
include a diagram illustrating this warning.
Negamould & Ageless type SE dual-action
sachets scavenge oxygen & emit ethanol vapour

Ethanol emitters:
Consider food weight, aw, desired shelf life
size and capacity of the ethanol-emitting
Principles of mechanism : moisture is absorbed
by the food ethanol vapour is released
diffuses into the package headspace
Usage in bread inhibit mould growth and
staling effect
Also widely used in Japan for extending the
shelf life of semi-moist and dry fish products

potential use of antimicrobial and
antioxidant packaging films
preservative properties for extending shelf
some antimicrobial and antioxidant films
have been marketed but the majority
have failed to be commercialised because
of doubts about their effectiveness,
economic factors and/or regulatory

Preservative releasers :
Synthetic silver zeolite to allow slow release of
antimicrobial silver ions into the surface of food
Organic acids, e.g. propionate, benzoate and sorbate,
bacteriocins, e.g. nisin,
spice and herb extracts, e.g. from rosemary, cloves,
horseradish, mustard, cinnamon and thyme,
enzymes, e.g. peroxidase, lysozyme and glucose
chelating agents, e.g. EDTA,
inorganic acids, e.g. sulphur dioxide and chlorine
antifungal agents, e.g. imazalil and benomyl.

Preservative releasers :

Source: Coles, et al.

structure to
encapsulate flavor/


Preservative releasers :
Alternative Applications

In the UK Microban (USA) kitchen

products such as chopping boards, dish
cloths and bin bags
Triclosan antibacterial aromatic chloroorganic compound also used in soaps,
shampoos, lotions, toothpaste and mouth

methyl salicylate into RepelKote

paperboard boxes by Tenneco Packaging
Antimicrobial, insect repellent

Interest in preservatives
releaser packaging
Two influences have stimulated interest :
Consumer demand for reduced antioxidants and
other additives in foods.
Interest of plastic manufacturers in using natural
approved food antioxidants, e.g. vitamin E for
polymer stabilisation instead of synthetic
antioxidants developed specifically for plastics

For example, the cereal industry in the USA :

previously used BHA & BHT in waxed paper.
Nowadays use of -tocopherol (vitamin E)

Moisture absorbers
desiccants such as silica gel, calcium
oxide and activated clays and
dual-action purposes, these sachets
may also contain activated carbon
for odour adsorption or iron powder
for oxygen scavenging
high aw foods such as meats, fish,
poultry, fruit and vegetables

Moisture absorber
Basic mechanism : two layers of a microporous nonwoven plastic film, such as polyethylene or
polypropylene, between which is placed a
superabsorbent polymer which is capable of absorbing
up to 500 times its own weight with water.
Typical superabsorbent polymers : polyacrylate salts,
carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and starch copolymers
which have a very strong affinity for water.
Placed under packaged product to absorb tissue drip
Larger sheets and blankets are used for absorption of
melted ice from chilled seafood during air freight
transportation, or for controlling transpiration of
horticultural produce

Moisture absorber
Alternative approach :
Intercept the moisture in the vapour phase
Reduces in-pack RH

Pichit film (Showa Denko Co Ltd.)
consists of a layer of humectant
carbohydrate and propylene glycol
sandwiched between two layers of
polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) plastic film

Undesirable flavour/ odor :
amines breakdown of fish muscle
proteins, and
Aldehydes auto-oxidation of fats and oils.
Volatile amines, such as trimethylamine,
associated with fish protein (usually

Can be neutralised by various acidic


Flavour/odor adsorbers :
Anico bags ferrous salt and an organic acid such as citrate
or ascorbate.
Oxidise amines as they are adsorbed by the polymer film

Duponts Odour and Taste Control (OTC) technology Removal

of aldehydes such as hexanal and heptanal from package
Based upon a molecular sieve with pore sizes of around five
Removes or neutralises aldehydes although evidence for this is lacking
snack foods, cereals, dairy products, poultry and fish

BMH powder developed by Swedish company EKA Noble in

co-operation with Dutch company Akzo
synthetic aluminosilicate zeolites
adsorb odorous gases within their highly porous structure.
can be incorporated into packaging materials, especially paper-based

Temperature control
use of innovative insulating materials, selfheating and self-cooling cans
to guard against undue temperature abuse
during storage and distribution of chilled
foods, Thinsulate (3M Company, USA)
to increase the thermal mass of the food
package so that it is capable of
withstanding temperature rises, Cool
Bowl (Adenko, Japan)

TTI : Commercials
Self-heating aluminium and steel cans and containers for
sake, coffee, tea and ready meals heated by an
exothermic reaction occurs when lime and water
positioned in the base are mixed.
In the UK, Nestl Nescaf coffees in self-heating
insulated cans use the lime and water exothermic
Self-cooling cans in Japan raw sake.
The endothermic dissolution of ammonium nitrate and chloride
in water used to cool the product.

Chill Can (The Joseph Company, USA)

usehydrofluorocarbon ( HFC) gas refrigerant.
The release of HRC gas is triggered by a button set into the
cans base and can cool a drink by 10C in two minutes.
Environmental impact of HFCs

self-heating containers

J. C. Technologies Ltd.

self-propagating high-temperature
synthesis (SHS)
Built by CHT (convenience heating
Principles: oxidizing powder
mixture of aluminum and other
metals by iron oxide (Fe2O3).
Enthalpy() of this reaction is >3
kJ/g of reactants, >4x higher than
in the reaction between CaO and
Addition of silica & KMnO4
faster reaction; <90s for drink, 3-4
min for food

Container part
Heating element
(almunium & silica)
Button (under the can)
device that when
activated generates a
localized hot spot on the
surface of the fuel that
starts the oxidation
reaction and creates heat.
Once the fuel is spent, the
heating process stops.

Different type of content

requires different heat
energy : time to heat &
the amount of fuel needed
(alumunium + silica)



Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
Food safety & Regulatory issues:
Food contact approval establishment prior using
Environmental regulations
The need for labelling, if consumer confusion
may rise
Effects on microbial ecology & safety of foods

project (EU
project (EU

aims to evaluate the

safety, effectiveness,
economic and
environmental impact and
consumer acceptance of

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
affect foods

antioxidants, ethanol an
their identity,
concentration and
possible toxicology


Component migration

metal compounds

identification and quantification

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues

Environmental regulations covering

reuse, recycling, identification to
assist in recycling or the recovery of
energy from active packaging
materials EU Regulations

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
Food labelling currently required to reduce the
risk of consumers ingesting the contents of
oxygen scavenger sachets or other in-pack
active-packaging devices.
Some active packages may look different from
their passive counterparts.
Therefore it may be advisable to use appropriate
labelling to explain this difference to the
consumer even in the absence of regulations.

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
Very important for food manufacturers to consider
the effects on the microbial ecology and safety of
Regarding the use of antimicrobial films, it is
important to consider what spectrum of
microorganisms will be inhibited.
Antimicrobial films which only inhibit spoilage
microorganisms without affecting the growth of
pathogenic bacteria will raise food safety concerns.

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
In the USA, Japan and Australia, active packaging concepts are
already being successfully applied.
In Europe, the development and application of active packaging
is limited because of legislative restrictions, fear of consumer
resistance, lack of knowledge about effectiveness and economic
and environmental impact of concepts
No specific regulations exist on the use of active packaging in
Europe. Active packaging is subjected to traditional packaging
The food industrys main concern about introducing active
components to packaging seems to be that consumers may
consider the components harmful and may not accept them.

Food safety, consumer

acceptability and
regulatory issues
So far, research has mainly concentrated on
the development of various methods and
their testing in a model system, but not so
much on functioning in food preservation with
real food products.
Furthermore, the benefits of active packaging
need to be considered in a holistic approach
to environmental impact assessment.

What aspect should be considered
when choosing active/ intelligent
packaging? Please Explain in brief.
Compare each type of active
packaging mentioned above in terms
of food application, materials/
technology used, principles of
mechanism, purpose of usage

Coles, R., D. McDowell, M.J. Kirwan.
2003. Food Packaging Technology.
Cp. 10. CRC Press
Ahvenainen, R. 2003. Novel Food
Packaging Technique. CRC Press
Rooney, M.L. 1995. Active Food
Packaging. Chapman & Hall.