With the increasing demand for food safety, automated sensor technology, microprocessor-driven drive technology and the development of innovative materials, the rapid rise of smart packaging. Smart food packaging bags were invented by scientists at the University of Strathclyde in the United Kingdom, and people can observe the package to determine whether the food inside has deteriorated. The principle is that the oxygen content in the bag changes to change the color of the bag.
What is the current smart packaging? It is reported that the latest smart packaging is nanotechnology printing and organic electronics and can identify and influence the freshness of food. However, these new technologies are only stuck in the research and development stage and have not yet been implemented.
The principle is that the oxygen content in the bag changes to change the color of the bag.
This active packaging controls humidity and prevents bacterial spread, killing bacteria by using absorbents, such as iron, which keeps oxygen-sensitive beverages such as beer or juice for a longer period of freshness. The soft bag technology that can adjust the moisture, so that the salt in the package can prevent the air from condensing into moisture, and the food which is easily discolored by mushrooms can prolong the shelf life.
Second, the function
As shown in Figure 1, change the "face" color
Andrew Mills, a professor at Strathclyde University in the UK, is leading researchers to develop this smart bag.
If food such as meat, fish and vegetables exceeds the shelf life or is placed outside the refrigerator for a long time, the freshness will be destroyed. According to the Mills team's vision, when the freshness level drops to a certain limit, the smart plastic bag will change color. This also reminds people to store sealed food in the refrigerator.
This plastic bag also has a warning if the package breaks the quality of the food.
Researchers say it can also help people distinguish between "best period of consumption" and "quality shelf life" without worrying about eating bad stomachs.
2, can breathe
The "freshness indicator" that people usually use today is a label placed in a food packaging bag, and the cost is not low.
Mills and others hope to develop a new indicator to integrate it with plastic bags, thus reducing costs. Mills said: "The current promotion of "air-conditioned bags" is mainly based on the inhibition of organic matter decomposition of food, but the price is considerable. We plan to develop new plastic products to reduce prices."
The new food packaging bag will have the “ventilation” function like an air conditioner to extend the shelf life of the food. Instead of adjusting the temperature, the "air conditioner" reduces the amount of oxygen in the sealed bag and is filled with nitrogen and carbon dioxide to reduce the rate of natural decay of the food.
If the oxygen value in the bag exceeds a predetermined value, the plastic bag will also change color.
3, help save
Official statistics show that British households throw away about 8.3 million tons of food each year, and 364,000 tons of edible food are thrown away each year because they exceed the "best period of consumption", of which 39,000 tons of food have not yet been opened.
Mills said: "Today people throw away too much food, whether it is environmental or economic development, it is a kind of destruction."
Mills said that the first batch of smart bags will be available within two years. This will help housewives reduce waste.
Third, the outlook
In the next few years, smart labels will be placed on each individually packaged product. In 2015, the annual demand for RFID tags will reach 100 billion, most of which will be used in smart packaging. The huge market for smart food packaging bags and their potential opportunities can be seen only from the needs of RFID.
Intelligent food packaging technology can facilitate consumers to choose safe food, can extend the shelf life of food, is conducive to food preservation and transportation, and has broad market prospects. Especially in the case that the market supervision mechanism is still not perfect, and the counterfeit and shoddy products are still very embarrassing, consumers need the help of smart packaging technology. Researchers predict that in the near future, the number of bags produced with smart packaging technology will account for 20%-40% of the total food packaging bags.
Smart food packaging bags are the future of the packaging industry, but we must truly spread the smart food packaging bags in place and better develop the profit margins. In addition to increasing the human and material resources for the development of intelligent technology for packaging, we must follow the current situation in China. From the industrialization to the informatization, we will increase our investment in focusing on new trends in smart technology and promotion of mature technologies.
Packaging companies in new areas such as smart food packaging bags, new topics and exploration, not only must pay enough attention to high-tech, but also hold my correct method. We can't research and develop for R&D, and we must keep abreast of the market trends. We must thoroughly study the market before the new technology is established, and formulate product strategies according to market demand. We must work hard to push the existing mature technologies through various channels. To the market.