Packaging School Seminar Series - Active and Intelligent Packaging to Create Value in the Food Supply Chain

October 20, 2020 1:30PM - 2:30PM

Active and Intelligent Packaging to Create Value in the Food Supply Chain

Kit L Yam, Ph.D.
Department of Food Science
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

YamThe goal of packaging is to serve as an effective product delivery system to create value in the supply chain such as improving food safety, extending shelf life, and complying with regulations. In most cases, this goal is accomplished by applying technologies that perform one or more of the basic functions of packaging—namely protection, communication, convenience, and containment. Active packaging and intelligent packaging are two groups of emerging technologies that perform advanced functions beyond the capability of traditional technologies. In general, active packaging excels in enhancing the protection function by actively modifying the ambient environment surrounding the product to extend its shelf life, while intelligent packaging excels in enhancing the communication function by integrating packaging technology and information technology to provide timely decision support for problem-solving and optimization—although these two groups of technologies sometimes also contribute to enhancing the convenience function.

This talk explains the basic concepts of active packaging and intelligent packaging, how these concepts can be developed into technologies, how these technologies can be integrated into the total packaging system to create value in the food supply chain, and what knowledge and technological gaps remain to fill to realize their full potentials.

The development and application of these technologies require multidisciplinary scientific knowledge, ingenuity, and business acumen. Likely, these technologies have the potential of revolutionizing the packaging discipline and greatly benefiting the society for decades to come.

After earning a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering at Michigan State University, Kit Yam joined the School of Packaging for a year as a research associate. He then joined the Department of Food Science at Rutgers University as an assistant professor. Presently he is a full professor, who also served as the graduate director for ten years, in that department. His research is focused mostly on the development of innovative active and intelligent packaging technologies to improve food safety and quality, through financial support from DoD, USDA, NSF, NASA, and the industry. He has published over 150 scientific articles and has delivered several keynote speeches in international packaging conferences. He is editor-in-chief of the 3rd edition of The Wiley Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology, author of two food packaging books, and served as founding associate editor of the journal Food Packaging and Shelf Life. He has received several prestigious awards including the IFT Riester-Davis-Brody Award for lifetime achievement in food packaging.


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