About this Research Topic
Food packaging science exists at the intersection of various disciplines such as polymer science, food chemistry, physical chemistry, and chemical engineering. Innovations in this field will bring significant improvement in terms of shelf-life extension, as well as food safety and food security. For perishable goods, it is of prime importance to prevent their degradation due to two main factors: microbial growth and chemical degradation, particularly oxidation.
More recently, the shelf–life extension goal has been accompanied by the necessity to reduce food loss and waste, from manufacturing to consumption, in an eco-friendly manner. Rational design strategies of active packaging based on the use of natural compounds are especially considered for these applications.
Smart packaging can also be designed to provide information to the consumer about the freshness of the product. In both cases, new chemistry routes including modification strategies are sought. Nanotechnologies, e.g. by soft chemistry routes such as sol-gel chemistry in bottom-up schemes, are also envisaged as the main driving force toward the next generation of packaging materials, with improved performance while still allowing for an upstream reduction of plastics.
Apart from these innovations, the major challenges facing manufacturing industries in their transition toward bioeconomy are the use of renewable resources to replace petrochemicals and the promotion of recycling. The rational design of bio-based and/or biodegradable packaging have to meet the criteria of eco-design. The valorization of by-product from other industries is highly sought-after. However, these new materials need to comply with guidelines for food contact and to bring satisfactory performance for controlling the exchanges between food, environment and polymer matrices. The study of physical and chemical aging of packaging materials is also an aspect that must be considered in relation to structural changes, and thus properties (especially for natural polymers) in response to environmental factors. Research in this field covers the investigation of macroscopic properties down to the mechanisms of molecular interactions.
This Research Topic welcomes contributions bringing new knowledge and/or breakthrough innovations in the following areas:
• Advanced packaging technologies
• Sustainable design of packaging
• Functionalization of the packaging materials
• Nanotechnology strategies
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.