Intelligent packaging in food and drink industry

Intelligent packaging in food and drink industry
© Anatoly Vartanov, image #14044814, 2017, source:
Materials, Waste
Food processing, Wholesale and retail
Medium cost
Resource savings: Raw material:
High food safety, low food spoilage
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250), Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate, Advanced
What is the business case of this measure?:

Intelligent packaging is a useful tool for tracking products and monitoring their conditions, facilitating real-time data access and exchange, and enabling rapid response and timely decision-making

What is in it for you:
Opportunities for enhancing food safety, quality and biosecurity.
Descriptive information:

Intelligent packaging is based on the idea that packaging is more than a container, it can also be a highly effective communication medium, carrying information on material flows and logistics (via truck, train, ship, etc), and it can transmit information visually (via indicators, graphics, etc.) or electronically (via a barcode or the Internet) throughout every phase of the supply chain.

Intelligent packaging encompasses:

  1. Decision-support systems – data layers, data processing, information flow
  2. Smart package device – mostly inexpensive labels or tags attached to primary packaging (e.g. pouches, trays, bottles), or more often onto secondary packaging (e.g. shipping containers), to facilitate communication throughout the supply chain

There are two basic types of smart package devices:

  • Data carriers, such as barcode labels and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, used to store and transmit data
  • Package indicators, such as time-temperature indicators, gas indicators and biosensors, used to monitor the external environment and, when appropriate, issue warnings

Decision-support systems and smart package devices work together to monitor changes in the internal and external environment of a food package, and to communicate the conditions of the product. The result is that faster decisions can be made regarding the best handling of the product and appropriate actions can be taken.

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