The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging (Fraunhofer IVV) recently studied the potential benefit of active packaging systems for perishable food, using the examples of cooked ham and mushrooms.
Fresh for another four days. Mushrooms sealed in plastic became discoloured after only a very short period of time. Not only is this unsightly, but it also discourages customers from purchasing such products. The result: Food is thrown away unnecessarily, even though it is still perfectly edible. The research showed that if the packaging has moisture control and contains table salt, it is possible to prevent condensation and therefore changes in quality. Oxygen absorbers in ham packaging delay discolouring of the product, so that the fresh pink of the ham does not turn into a dull grey. According to the study, oxygen absorption in active packaging delays visible changes in product quality by as much as four days.