The objectives of the project were achieved by:
Reviewing the published literature.
Examining and evaluating the trade press and product information from companies involved in this sector.
Reviewing the existing migration test protocols available from the European Standards Organisation (CEN).
Holding discussions with other researchers, officials and legislators in the sector.
The related issue of 'intelligent packaging' was also considered.
A common way to define 'active packaging' is to highlight what distinguishes it from so-called conventional ('passive') packaging. Active packaging is intended to influence the packed food. It is intended to change the condition of the packed food, to extend shelf-life or improve sensory properties while maintaining the freshness and the quality of the food. To do this, the packaging should absorb food-related chemicals or should release substances such as preservatives, antioxidants, flavourings or colours.
The scientific problem that this project tackled was; how should active packaging materials be authorised, regulated and tested. What special problems, if any, may be caused with respect to the quality and the safety of the packaged food? The project aimed to address 3 main questions:<br>
a) what future experimental migration work may be needed, if any; <br>
b) what changes to the CEN standard methods of migration testing are needed, if any;<br>
c) what aspects of active packaging should be considered by other legislative sectors, e.g. by those dealing with direct food additives, food authenticity and food labelling.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.