Nowadays, technological advancement is in continuous development in all areas, including food packaging, which tries to find a balance between consumer preferences, environmental safety, and issues related to food quality and control. The present paper concretely details the concepts of smart, active, and intelligent packaging and identifies commercially available examples used in the food packaging market place. Along with this purpose, several bioactive compounds are identified and described, which are compounds that can be recovered from the by-products of the food industry and can be integrated into smart food packaging supporting the “zero waste” activities. The biopolymers obtained from crustacean processing or compounds with good antioxidant or antimicrobial properties such as carotenoids extracted from agro-industrial processing are underexploited and inexpensive resources for this purpose. Along with the main agro-industrial by-products, more concrete examples of resources are presented, such as grape marc, banana peels, or mango seeds. The commercial and technological potential of smart packaging in the food industry is undeniable and most importantly, this paper highlights the possibility of integrating the by-products derived compounds to intelligent packaging elements (sensors, indicators, radio frequency identification).
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