Smart packaging allows the industry to track and trace a product throughout its lifecycle and to analyze and control the environment inside or outside the package. Using Smart packaging technology. the entire supply chain from manufacturer to retailer to consumer – can obtain information on a products condition at any time. But smart packaging, despite its many advantages, adds cost and introduces technical complications which impede its widespread adoption in the industry.

There are two categories of smart packaging

Active Packaging – In active packaging, the packaging itself improves the product and enhances its preservation. Active packaging refers to the incorporation of active components into the package with the aim of maintaining or extending the product quality and shelf-life. Active packaging interacts with food, releases/absorbs substances and extends the shelf life of the food product. Food packaging made of materials that reduce the amount of moisture that reaches the food is an example. Types of systems include:

    • Moisture regulators
    • Ethylene removal systems
    • Carbon dioxide scavengers
    • Anti-microbial systems
    • Anti-oxident & oxygen scavengers
    • Thermal insulation packaging


Intelligent Packaging – Intelligent packaging systems are able to monitor the condition of packaged food in order to provide information about the quality of the product during transportation and storage. The name refers to intelligent functions such as sensing that the product or the packaging itself has changed in some way. Connected packaging is a subset of intelligent packaging that integrates connecting technologies like NFC tags and QR codes directly into packaging. Intelligent packaging does not act on food, monitors the conditions of the food product and provides information to users. Types of systems include:

    • Time temperature indicators, freshness indicators and gas indicators
    • Chemical sensors, biosensors and edible sensors
    • Data carriers such as barcode labels and RFID tags