Functionalized Foils in Food Packaging: A Surface Analysis

Food packaging protects our food against oxygen attack, water vapor and ultraviolet light to maintain quality. It furthermore creates a layer in direct contact with the product to prevent chemical and microbiological contamination. Surface properties in general and surface charges play a key role in characterizing “intelligent” foils for food packaging. The SurPASS 3 instrument equipped with a titration unit determines the zeta potential via streaming potential measurements to develop, analyze and control surface modifications. In parallel coating suspensions used for surface modifications are analyzed with the Litesizer 500 using electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) technology.


Food preservation, quality maintenance and safety are fundamental needs to be ensured by the food industry. Food packaging evolved to protect food against oxygen attack, water vapor, ultraviolet light, or both chemical and microbiological contamination (1). Among this, intelligent packaging offers a playground to create biodegradable, active, human and environmentally friendly packaging by using e.g. indicators for freshness, shelf time, temperature and leaks or specific active agents providing antimicrobial and antioxidant functionalities (2). The concept behind active packaging embraces an interaction between package, product and environment to prolong shelf life or enhance safety of the product while maintaining its quality (1). The use of antimicrobial agents such as chemical antimicrobials, antioxidants, biotechnological products like enzymes, antimicrobial polymers or natural antimicrobials (e.g. extracts), which inhibit or inactivate growth of microorganisms can reduce foodborne diseases significantly (2).


  • 1. Prasad, P., Kochhar, A. Active packaging in food industry: a review. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology 2014, vol. 8, iss. 5, vers. 3, 1-7.
  • 2. Fras Zemljič, L., Plohl, O., Vesel, A., Luxbacher, T., Potrč, S. Physicochemical characterization of packaging foils coated by chitosan and polyphenols colloidal formulations. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 21, 2020, 495

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