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Packaging concepts for ready-to-eat food: Recent progress

: Silberbauer, Alina; Schmid, Markus


Journal of packaging technology and research 1 (2017), No.3, pp.113-126
ISSN: 2520-1034 (Print)
ISSN: 2520-1042 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IVV ()

During recent years the market for convenience foods has grown rapidly. More and more consumers prefer ready-to-eat (RTE) products because of their advantageous minimal input of time and effort. The increasing awareness of health means there is a need for nutritious, high quality ready meals. Due to technological developments, the packaging industry is continuously coming up with innovative packaging. This is being driven by ecological challenges, policy, and consumer demands. However, only a few studies have hitherto been published on innovative packaging concepts for RTE food. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the status quo and recent progress in this area. It is important to understand the crucial factors for food packaging for RTE food, namely food safety and quality. Packaging concepts have focused on preventing microbial growth, so protecting consumers from food-borne diseases. Bio-based packaging materials such as polylactic acid and chitosan have limited mechanical properties. The use of nanomaterials or natural essential oils to replace synthetic additives could alleviate this. The combination with modified atmosphere packaging showed improvements and prolongation of the shelf life.