Intelligent Food Packaging: A Review of Smart Sensing Technologies for Monitoring Food Quality
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Food safety is a major factor affecting public health and the well-being of society. A possible solution to control food-borne illnesses is through real-time monitoring of the food quality throughout the food supply chain. The development of emerging technologies, such as active and intelligent packaging, has been greatly accelerated in recent years, with a focus on informing consumers about food quality. Advances in the fields of sensors and biosensors has enabled the development of new materials, devices, and multifunctional sensing systems to monitor the quality of food. In this Review, we place the focus on an in-depth summary of the recent technological advances that hold the potential for being incorporated into food packaging to ensure food quality, safety, or monitoring of spoilage. These advanced sensing systems usually target monitoring gas production, humidity, temperature, and microorganisms' growth within packaged food. The implementation of portable and simple-to-use hand-held devices is also discussed in this Review. We highlight the mechanical and optical properties of current materials and systems, along with various limitations associated with each device. The technologies discussed here hold great potential for applications in food packaging and bring us one step closer to enable real-time monitoring of food throughout the supply chain.
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