The Energy Initiative
Ruxi is a first-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago pursuing a major in Earth and Environmental Studies, as well as a curriculum in pre-medicine. She is most interested in the concept of sustainability, and in exploring ways in which people can lessen their impact on the planet and also live as healthfully as possible. Someday she hopes to achieve a career that combines these idea.
Smart Food Packaging: A review of active and intelligent packaging technologies
Food packaging is meant to contain and protect food, extend its shelf life, maintain food safety, and provide information about the food. Recent technological developments in active and intelligent food packaging have expanded on the ability of packaging to relay information about the product’s condition and to maintain optimal quality for longer periods of time. These improvements are key, given that billions of pounds of food are wasted every year in the United States alone, causing wide ranging social and environmental ramifications. Even though these technologies exist, they are not currently widely used. Therefore, this literature review explores not only the specific smart food packaging applications that exist, but also the extent to which they are used and their potential to reduce food waste. The review also touches on the social aspect of food waste and packaging technologies, such as the social consequences of food waste, the causes of wasteful behaviors, and possible consumer reactions to smart packaging applications.