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| |Food Science and Technology International, Vol. 6, No. 2, 97-108 (2000)
DOI: 10.1177/108201320000600203
© 2000 SAGE Publications
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|Reviews |Revisión: Envasado activo de los alimentos / Review: Active food packaging

M. Fernández Álvarez
Departamento de Nutrición y Bromatología (Higiene y Tecnología de los Alimentos), Facultad deVeterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040 Madrid, España
A great technological development for food packaging has been developed over the past few decadesto satisfy consumer demands relating to more natural forms of preservation, and methods to control packaging and storage for assurance and food safety. Active packaging is, certainly, oneof the most important innovations in this field. Active packages are designed to perform a role other than to provide an inert barrier between the product and the outside environment,using the possible interactions between food and package in a positive way to improve product quality and acceptability. Active food packaging is a heterogeneous concept involving a widerange of possibilities which globally can be grouped in two main goals: (i) to extend shelf life, and (ii) to facilitate processing and consumption of foods. In the first case, activepackaging solutions include the systems studied to control the mechanisms of deterioration inside the package (i.e. oxygen scavengers, moisture absorbers or antimicrobial agents). In relation tothe second goal, active packaging allows us to match the package to the properties of the food, to reduce costs of processing, or even to perform some processing operations in-package or tocontrol the product history and quality. This paper reviews the different applications of active packaging and their commercial use, together with some legal aspects and future trends
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