What is Smart Packaging?

12 Nov 2013

Smart packaging has been a trending topic for years now. It comes with many names – it can also be called intelligent packaging, interactive packaging or active packaging – or combinations of these. Smart packaging is about clever ways to package a product. There are two types of smart packaging. The first type interacts with […]

What is Smart Packaging?

Smart packaging has been a trending topic for years now. It comes with many names – it can also be called intelligent packaging, interactive packaging or active packaging – or combinations of these. Smart packaging is about clever ways to package a product.

There are two types of smart packaging. The first type interacts with the product – for example, to control the growth of bacteria or fungi like the product Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Symphony have been working on. The most common name for this type of packaging is active packaging. In food packaging, interaction between the packaging material and the product should normally be avoided or minimised, but there is specific European legislation to make this type of packaging possible.

This legislation also mentions intelligent packaging. This is the other type of smart packaging, which works in a different way. This intelligence adds an extra information function to the packaging, often in the form of sensors and communication features (with or without electronics). One example of this type of smart packaging is the Pasteur Sensor Tag. From July 2009 until September 2012, we have been working on this ‘sensor-enabled RFID tag’ in a consortium of companies and universities from the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Spain.

This hard work has now been rewarded: the Pasteur Sensor Tag won the Food Valley Award 2013. The award was presented during the Food Valley Expo that took place on 24 October 2013.

This technology provides a quick, cheap and efficient way to monitor the environmental conditions in the supply chain. One of the project partners was NVC and, at the end of the project, NVC published the NVC World Review on Supply Chain Applications of RFID and Sensors in Packaging.

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