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Open Access Research progress of packaging indicating materials for real-time monitoring of food quality

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The rapid development of cold-chain transportation necessitates consumers to present high requirements on safety and freshness of fresh food in recent years. The quality and taste of fresh food can be monitored and controlled through the intelligent packaging technologies and new food packaging materials such as time-temperature indicators (TTIs), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), biological composites and polymer nanocomposites. Based on different packaging materials, indicators and sensors are employed in food packaging for real-time detection of information about freshness, temperature, microbiological, and shelf life of products in the supply chain. Wide varieties of packaging materials are suitable for providing intelligent and smart properties for food packaging, such as oxygen scavenging capability, antimicrobial activity, and recording the thermal history. Due to the special properties of prepared materials, TTIs are used to point out the remaining shelf life of perishable products throughout the supply chain. Compared with others, they have the advantages of low cost, small size and convenient indication. Additionally, the TTIs can effectively solve food quality and safety problems caused by temperature fluctuation in supply chain. Since the irreversible color change of TTIs, the food safety situation would be shown intuitively. Currently, the TTIs were widely used in application of food packaging by providing safety information. However, the application is also accompanied with some deficiencies such as the accuracy of monitoring, migration of toxic substances, stability and expensive cost etc. This review will deeply discuss the preparation of various types of TTIs based on different package indicating materials with a particular emphasis on how to improve their accuracy and stability, control the migration of toxic substances and to develop new TTIs.

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Keywords: FOOD PACKAGING; FOOD SAFETY AND QUALITY; PACKAGING INDICATING MATERIALS; TIME-TEMPERATURE INDICATORS

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2019

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  • Materials Express is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal reporting emerging researches on materials science, engineering, technology and biology. Cutting-edge researches on the synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of a very wide range of materials are covered for broad readership; from physical sciences to life sciences. In particular, the journal aims to report advanced materials with interesting electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical and catalytic properties for industrial applications.
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