Technological watch

Material Breakthroughs in Smart Food Monitoring: Intelligent Packaging and On?Site Testing Technologies for Spoilage and Contamination Detection

Despite extensive commercial and regulatory interventions, food spoilage and contamination continue to impose massive ramifications on human health and the global economy. Recognizing that such issues would be significantly eliminated by the accurate and timely monitoring of food quality markers, smart food sensors have garnered significant interest as platforms for both real?time, in?package food monitoring and on?site commercial testing. In both cases, the sensitivity, stability, and efficiency of the developed sensors are largely informed by underlying material design, driving focus towards the creation of advanced materials optimized for such applications. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review of emerging intelligent materials and sensors developed in this space, through the lens of three key food quality markers – biogenic amines, pH, and pathogenic microbes. Each sensing platform is presented with targeted consideration towards the contributions of the underlying metallic or polymeric substrate to the sensing mechanism and detection performance. Further, the real?world applicability of presented works is considered with respect to their capabilities, regulatory adherence, and commercial potential. Finally, we provide a situational assessment of the current state of intelligent food monitoring technologies, discussing material?centric strategies to address their existing limitations, regulatory concerns, and commercial considerations.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

Publication date: 21/04/2023

Advanced Materials


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.