By Jaan Koel
Flexible packaging has become an obvious solution for brands in the past few years. It is easier to ship for retailers—taking up less space and weight. It is better for consumers in terms of space management in the home, both in the fridge and in cupboards, because flexible packaging can be molded by hand to fit any available nook and cranny.
Retailers like products in flexible packaging too, not only because they’re light weight and take less space on shelves, but also because of new and improved coatings, mainly films, that keep food fresher longer, preventing losses and returns. This means better food safety and fewer recalls.
bio-sensors are being developed to determine when the food inside is going off
Many experts believe that nanotechnology could revolutionize the food industry. By providing stronger, high-barrier packaging material and more potent antimicrobial agents, this technology keeps a products’ ability to maintain freshness and potentially improve quality. Nanoparticles can also carry a host of sensors that can detect trace contaminants, gasses, or microbes in packaged foods. An example of this is barrier protection in silicon dioxide (SiO2), which is laid molecules thick onto flexible film and other polymer packaging to keep out oxygen, thereby improving freshness, quality, shelf life and safety. Silver and copper nanoparticles are used for their anti-microbial properties. Polymer nanocomposites also provide high gas barriers, along with strength and flame retardancy.