Advances in packaging methods, processes and systems
The food processing and packaging industry is becoming a multi-trillion dollar global business. The reason is that the recent increase in incomes in traditionally less economically developed countries has led to a rise in standards of living that includes a significantly higher consumption of packaged foods. As a result, food safety guidelines have been more stringent than ever. At the same time, the number of research and educational institutions—that is, the number of potential researchers and stakeholders—has increased in the recent past. This paper reviews recent developments in food processing and packaging (FPP), keeping in view the aforementioned advancements and bearing in mind that FPP is an interdisciplinary area in that materials, safety, systems, regulation, and supply chains play vital roles. In particular, the review covers processing and packaging principles, standards, interfaces, techniques, methods, and state-of-the-art technologies that are currently in use or in development. Recent advances such as smart packaging, non-destructive inspection methods, printing techniques, application of robotics and machineries, automation architecture, software systems and interfaces are reviewed.