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Review of emerging packaging technologies and trends for red meat

The red meat supply chain relies upon packaging at varies stages of the supply chain, to protect, contain, distribute, promote and sell its products. Food safety compliance and product integrity are also paramount. Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), who deliver marketing, research and development services for Australia's cattle, sheep and goat producers are interested in understanding the role packaging plays and the trends within the red meat supply chain that enable them to help position Australian red meat producers, both domestically and in export.

This report presents a review of current and emerging packaging technologies and trends related to red meat (beef, veal, sheep, goat and mutton). The review comprised of a desk-top literature review, attendance at local packaging conference held in May and June 2014 in Australia and interviewing a suite of stakeholders across the red meat supply chain.

Emerging packaging technologies included in this review are modified atmosphere (MAP) and vacuum packaging; active packaging that incorporates specific compounds into a packaging material, on its surface, onto the product directly or as a separate co-packaged component; and intelligent packaging technologies such as integrity and freshness sensors, time-temperature indicators and radio frequency identification tags (RFIDs). Existing knowledge of these technologies are presented alongside challenges and barriers but also opportunities to exploit.

Sustainability, supply chain and consumer trends and issues were also explored. Demographic and lifestyle changes such as the ageing population and rise in the middle class, both domestically and internationally, increasing requirements and expectations from consumers for convenience and portioning, accessibility of pack and traceability of product are important trends that need to be understood in the context of packaging design. Understanding who the consumer is, what their needs and wants are, their expectations of, their perceptions, understanding and acceptance of packaging formats and technologies will be crucial for acceptance of packaged red meat domestically and on global export markets, both now and into the future.


Title Size Date published
1.9MB 11/08/2015


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Review of emerging packaging technologies and trends for red meat
25/05/2014 30/06/2014

This page was last updated on 06/07/2018

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