Packaging concepts for fresh and processed meat - recent progresses
Modern societal, economic, nutritional and ecological changes warrant the continued evolution of packaging solutions in order to meet new requirements. This review examines current advances in the development of novel packaging related technologies, methods and materials for fresh and processed meat. The current focus of research has been found to concentrate on the development of sustainably producible packaging materials as well as increased functionality of packaging systems in general. Active & intelligent packaging solutions are showing great promise for the improvement of packaging functionality and will enable extended shelf life, higher quality and greater safety of packed meat. Novel approaches in this field are increasingly examining the use of natural functional additives and combination methods. Although often held back by legal restrictions, low retail or consumer acceptance and sometimes incomplete development, intelligent packaging systems are still being devised and show good potential for augmenting the present methods for maintaining the safety of packed meat. The overall goals of current research are to enhance the safety and quality of packed meat while reducing costs and negative environmental impacts by utilizing natural materials and synergy effects. Good efforts are being made with regard to these objectives although many promising concepts still require some additional refining for commercialization.