71 Citations (Scopus)
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Intelligent food packaging is emerging as a novel technology, capable of monitoring the quality and safety of food during its shelf‐life time. This technology makes use of indicators and sensors that are applied in the packaging and that detect changes in physiological variations of the foodstuffs (due to microbial and chemical degradation). These indicators usually provide information, e.g., on the degree of freshness of the product packed, through a color change, which is easily identified, either by the food distributor and the consumer. However, most of the indicators that are currently used are non‐renewable and non‐biodegradable synthetic materials. Because there is an imperative need to improve food packaging sustainability, choice of sensors should also reflect this requirement. Therefore, this work aims to revise the latest information on bio‐based sensors, based on compounds obtained from natural extracts, that can, in association with biopolymers, act as intelligent or smart food packaging. Its application into several perishable foods is summarized. It is clear that bioactive extracts, e.g., anthocyanins, obtained from a variety of sources, including by‐products of the food industry, present a substantial potential to act as bio‐sensors. Yet, there are still some limitations that need to be surpassed before this technology reaches a mature commercial stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2148
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021


  • Active packaging
  • Anthocyanins
  • Biopolymer
  • Food shelf‐life
  • Intelligent packaging
  • PH sensor


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