The "active and smart" functionalities of the packaging provide additional functions which allow better optimization and monitoring of the traceability and preservation of food products.
Smart packaging: better traceability, detection of defaults; active packaging: absorption or emission of gases which contributes negatively (absorption) or positively (emission) to the shelf life of the packed product.
(Active packaging) Check the characteristics of the product and identify key properties which are not reached by the optimized packaging technology (e.g. oxygen absorber to enhance the characteristics of oxygen barrier packaging); consider the alternative options which consist in avoiding the use of (often non-recyclable) active packaging: increase barrier level through conventional technologies, reduce the shelf life target.
The use of active technologies is justified when the conventional solutions are not efficient enough and or when the environmental and economical gain thanks to shelf-life increase is worth it.
(Smart packaging) In some countries (cf Asia), the information given by smart packaging vehicles an image of excellent quality control; the European consumer being less familiar with such a technology does not put a significant preference on products associated with smart information on quality.