Prof Endang Warsiki Reveals the Role of Smart Active Packaging and Intelligence in Quality Assurance of Agro-industrial Products
Prof Endang Warsiki, Professor of IPB University from the Faculty of Agricultural Technology (Fateta), explained the role of intelligent active packaging and intelligence in quality assurance of agro-industrial products. He conveyed this in the Pre-Oration Press Conference of IPB University Professors (27/7) in front of journalists, which took place online.
“Many consumers experience and complain that they get products that are not fresh, damaged, rancid, stale, or rotten when taken off supermarket shelves, even though the expiration date has not been exceeded. Thus, actually the burden of packaging as a provider of protection is very heavy, or even food packaging plays an important role, “said Prof Endang.
According to him, product quality assurance along the way is a must so that the products that arrive at the dinner table can be as fresh as when they came out of the production table. Hence, he revealed the importance of active, intelligent, and intelligent packaging.
“Active packaging is packaging that can provide better and longer protection for packaged products, so product quality assurance can be trusted. Some of the active packaging that has been developed is anti-microbial packaging, ethylene absorbent active packaging, doneness delay cartons, and composite desiccant for ant sugar to be kept dry,” he explained.
Furthermore, Prof Endang explained the difference between active packaging and conventional packaging. Active packaging actively changes the condition of packaged foods to extend shelf life or improve safety and sensory properties. Meanwhile, passive packaging or conventional packaging, only provides protection from external influences such as gas and moisture.
“Surely we often find small sachets on jars or packaging that say do not eat, it is a moisture absorber. This means that the use of active packaging has been applied commercially even though it is actually still based on silica gel, which in fact is quite dangerous when in contact with food if the sachets are torn,” he said.
Therefore, he explained, efforts to find safer materials became mandatory. In his research, Prof Endang used husk charcoal, activated charcoal (activated charcoal is widely used for water purification, meaning it can be used for food), and other minerals or salts.
The next development in modern packaging is smart packaging. This packaging is able to inform consumers about product quality and suitability for consumption and intelligence packaging based on indicators, sensors, recorders, data, graphs, and others. Smart packaging can also ensure and monitor quality in real-time for agro-industrial products.
“Basically, this packaging can be an indicator or sensor that provides changes to the packaging label affixed inside or outside the package. This change is usually shown by a change in color that can be seen with the eye. The development of smart packaging of erpa leaf indicators has succeeded in detecting damage to pasteurized fresh milk, spoilage of fish, meat, and processed products and seeing the ripeness of the fruit without squeezing,” explained Prof Endang.
Packaging intelligence refers to the use of advanced technology and features in product packaging to provide additional functionality and benefits beyond the basic functions of packaging as containers and protection. The use and incorporation of sensors, indicators or other electronic components into packaging materials or designs is aimed at improving the performance, safety, and quality assurance of packaged products.
In addition, Prof Endang said, IPB University’s innovative products have applied intelligent active packaging and intelligence in quality assurance of agro-industrial products, especially for active packaging absorbing moisture or moisture absorbers. (Ns/Rz) (IAAS/MZS)