new study carried out by EU-funded NanoPack project has revealed that consumers are showing interest to adopt nanotechnology in active food packaging.
The research, which has been conducted in Europe and Asia, showed majority of consumers preferred the use of nanotechnology-based solutions in the food packaging industry.
Active food packaging technologies are said to provide various benefits to consumers and retailers, including increased food safety, extended shelf-life, improved freshness and reduced food waste.
NanoPack project conducted a detailed research on the acceptance of new active food packaging technologies among consumers and retailers, in order to assess how end-users perceive nanotechnology and its benefits.
The research has been carried out by organizing 10 focus groups, and interviews have been taken from consumers and retail managers in China, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Ireland.
The results show that consumers were not concerned with the nanotechnology aspect and interviewees expressed more concern over the inclusion of essential oils and the active nature of this technology.
In addition, the consumers expressed concern that food products may contaminate or alter after the active component was released in the packaging atmosphere.
The research further showed that retailers concerned about new technologies ability to meet product safety criteria and capacity to align with the strategy and internal processes of the company.
Aarhus University of Denmark associate professor Polymeros Chrysochou and assistant professor Alexandra Festila from the same university have carried out the research.
Chrysochou said: “Freshness is a rather vague promised benefit and people have different interpretations of it.
“They may perceive it in terms of the time passed from the production, where a shorter time equates a fresher food product. This means that consumers do not see a product with an extended shelf life as being necessarily fresh, since a longer time has passed since production.”
NanoPack is an EU-funded project engaged in the development of antimicrobial packaging solutions for perishable foods based on natural nanomaterials, enabling to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage.