Advancements in Novel Packaging Technologies to Improve the Sustainability of Food Systems

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Packaging and Preservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 5689

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, The Axia Institute, Michigan State University, 1910 West St. Andrews Rd, Midland, MI 48640, USA
Interests: food engineering; radio frequency identification; packaging; biochemical; food processing; micro- and nano-engineering technologies

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Guest Editor
School of Packaging, Michigan State University, 448 Packaging Building, Room 149, East Lansing, MI 48824-1223, USA
Interests: innovative packaging materials and technologies; food shelf-life extension; food waste reduction; sustainability; agricultural waste upcycling; encapsulation and controlled release of volatile compounds; interface between packaging and consumers; e-commerce food packaging

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In response to the imperative of sustainable food systems, this Special Issue explores advancements that have been made in novel packaging technologies to improve the sustainability of food systems. The dynamic food industry necessitates innovative packaging solutions that prolong shelf life, reduce waste, and enhance safety while considering economic, social, and environmental factors. With a specific focus on active and smart packaging technologies, this Special Issue seeks contributions that unravel the synergy of active components, intelligent sensors, indicators, and data carriers, and eco-friendly materials. Researchers are invited to share their findings on technical packaging advancements, regulatory landscapes, consumer perceptions, and the environmental and economic feasibility of these innovative packaging technologies. By addressing the intricate interplay of packaging technologies within economic, social, and environmental realms, this endeavor seeks to reshape the food ecosystem towards a holistic and sustainable future.

Dr. Bahar Aliakbarian
Prof. Dr. Eva Almenar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • packaging technologies
  • sustainability
  • food system
  • active packaging
  • smart packaging
  • active compounds
  • shelf life
  • waste reduction
  • safety
  • environmental impact
  • consumer perception
  • regulations
  • economics
  • processing
  • modeling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 6868 KiB  
Article
Oleogel-Based Nanoemulsions for Beverages: Effect of Self-Assembled Fibrillar Networks on Stability and Release Properties of Emulsions
by Sai Sateesh Sagiri and Elena Poverenov
Foods 2024, 13(5), 680; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050680 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 962
Abstract
Reducing the use of stabilizers is one of the main challenges in food emulsions, especially for beverages. This work aimed to produce oleogel-structured nanoemulsions (NEs) without additional surfactants. Lecithin-stearic acid (LSa) and lecithin-sorbitan tristearate (LSt) oleogels formed stable NEs under optimized sonication conditions. [...] Read more.
Reducing the use of stabilizers is one of the main challenges in food emulsions, especially for beverages. This work aimed to produce oleogel-structured nanoemulsions (NEs) without additional surfactants. Lecithin-stearic acid (LSa) and lecithin-sorbitan tristearate (LSt) oleogels formed stable NEs under optimized sonication conditions. Microscopy and rheometry revealed that the presence of self-assembled fibrous networks (SAFiNs) in both dispersed and continuous phases provided steric stabilization to NEs. Lecithin acted as crystal habit modifier of SAFiNs and facilitated their phase partitioning. Notably, the short fibers of LSt showed better emulsifying efficiency than the long fibers of LSa. Curcumin release studies under simulated gastrointestinal conditions demonstrated that SAFiNs affect the release capabilities of NEs. Polydispersity index, zeta potential and oil syneresis data showed that the emulsions are stable for six months. Moreover, NEs showed thermal stability upon curcumin release at 25 and 50 °C. These results suggest that the developed oleogel-based NEs are suitable for the delivery of bioactive agents for beverages and other food applications. Full article
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22 pages, 12182 KiB  
Article
US Consumers’ Awareness, Purchase Intent, and Willingness to Pay for Packaging That Reduces Household Food Waste
by Korey Fennell, Guanqi Lu, Monireh Mahmoudi, Euihark Lee and Eva Almenar
Foods 2023, 12(23), 4315; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12234315 - 29 Nov 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1642
Abstract
Food waste is a barrier to the development of sustainable food systems, and a large portion of it occurs at the household level. Household food waste can be decreased by using appropriate packaging. Despite the high rate of food waste in US households, [...] Read more.
Food waste is a barrier to the development of sustainable food systems, and a large portion of it occurs at the household level. Household food waste can be decreased by using appropriate packaging. Despite the high rate of food waste in US households, little is known about how packaging affects this. This study assessed US consumers’ awareness of how structural packaging designs and technologies affect food freshness and their willingness to purchase and to pay extra for packaging designed to reduce household food waste. To gather data, 1000 US consumers were surveyed online. Responses were analyzed overall and by population segments. The impacts of only 3 out of 15 structural packaging designs on maintaining food freshness were known by >50% of consumers. Regarding packaging technologies, while 78% of consumers knew about the impact of vacuum packaging on maintaining food freshness, just 27.6, 23, and 16% knew how modified atmosphere packaging, active packaging, and aseptic packaging affected food freshness. Only 32% of consumers knew that intelligent packaging provides information on food freshness. Just 9% of consumers recognized that foods in plastic pouches and cans possess the same food freshness. Approximately 91% of consumers will always/sometimes buy food in most of the above packaging technologies after learning about them. Half were willing to pay more for food in packages that reduce household food waste, and 40% may. Differences (p ≤ 0.05) and two-way interactions were observed between population segments. This study’s findings can help develop new packaging, education campaigns, and policies to reduce household food waste in the US. Full article
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20 pages, 5172 KiB  
Article
Potential Use of PLA-Based Films Loaded with Antioxidant Agents from Spent Coffee Grounds for Preservation of Refrigerated Foods
by Margherita Pettinato, Maria Bolla, Roberta Campardelli, Giuseppe Firpo and Patrizia Perego
Foods 2023, 12(22), 4167; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12224167 - 17 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
The aim of this work concerned the production of an active food packaging suitable for refrigerated foods. Polylactic-acid-based films were produced by optimizing the solvent casting technique and testing different loadings of extracts obtained from spent coffee grounds. Indeed, an extract obtained by [...] Read more.
The aim of this work concerned the production of an active food packaging suitable for refrigerated foods. Polylactic-acid-based films were produced by optimizing the solvent casting technique and testing different loadings of extracts obtained from spent coffee grounds. Indeed, an extract obtained by high-pressure and -temperature extraction (HPTE) and a further purified extract by liquid–liquid extraction (LLE) were separately used as active agents, and the effects on packaging features and active compounds migration were analyzed. The selected active agents showed antioxidant and lipid peroxidation inhibition effects on food simulants (peroxide values of 9.2 ÷ 12.0 meqO2/kg extra virgin olive oil), demonstrating the possibility of enhancing food shelf life. In addition, significant effects on the packaging structure due to the presence of the extract were observed, since it can enhance gas barrier properties of the polymer (O2 permeability of 1.6 ÷ 1.3 × 10−9 cm2/s) and confer better processability. In general, the HPTE extract exhibited better performances than the further purified extract, which was due to the presence of a complex pool of antioxidants and the browning effect on the film but a limited loading capacity on the polymer (840 μg caffeine/g PLA), while higher loading capabilities were enabled using LLE extract. Full article
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Review

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28 pages, 3591 KiB  
Review
Innovative Systems for the Delivery of Naturally Occurring Antimicrobial Volatiles in Active Food-Packaging Technologies for Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce: Stimuli-Responsive Materials
by Patricia Esteve-Redondo, Raquel Heras-Mozos, Ernest Simó-Ramírez, Gracia López-Carballo, Carol López-de-Dicastillo, Rafael Gavara and Pilar Hernández-Muñoz
Foods 2024, 13(6), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13060856 - 11 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Certain naturally occurring volatile organic compounds are able to mitigate food spoilage caused by microbial growth. Their considerable vapor pressure enables them to create an antimicrobial atmosphere within a package, and this property can be used for the development of active food-packaging technologies. [...] Read more.
Certain naturally occurring volatile organic compounds are able to mitigate food spoilage caused by microbial growth. Their considerable vapor pressure enables them to create an antimicrobial atmosphere within a package, and this property can be used for the development of active food-packaging technologies. The volatility of these molecules, however, makes their stabilization difficult and limits their effectiveness. Whilst much research is being undertaken on the use of natural antimicrobial volatiles for inhibiting microbial growth in food, less attention has been paid to the design of controlled-release mechanisms that permit the efficient application of these compounds. Most studies to date either spray the volatile directly onto the fresh product, immerse it in a solution containing the volatile, or embed the volatile in a paper disc to create a vapor in the headspace of a package. More sophisticated alternatives would be delivery systems for the sustained release of volatiles into the package headspace. Such systems are based on the encapsulation of a volatile in organic or inorganic matrices (cyclodextrins, electrospun non-wovens, polymer films, micelles, molecular frameworks, etc.). However, most of these devices lack an efficient triggering mechanism for the release of the volatile; most are activated by humidity. All of these techniques are revised in the present work, and the most recent and innovative methods for entrapping and releasing volatiles based on reversible covalent bonds are also discussed. Full article
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