Introduction. The trends demonstrate that industrialized countries have been the ones that have dedicated a bigger effort to boost nanotechnology, according to R+D reports and to the patents granted. Nonetheless, countries with outdated technology, such as Colombia, have an opportunity to be a part of this technological revolution in order to increase the economic growth of its food industries. Objective. This article aims to identify the potential research areas in nanotechnology for food packaging and containers, by the use of technological surveillance (TS). Materials and methods. TS was used to identify the research areas by constructing structured research equations, used to consult in scientific databases such as Scopus, and in databases of patents. The data analysis was performed by the use of Vantage Point and patents were searched in MatheoPatent. Results. In the Colombian context nanotechnology applications for packaging and containers were identified, along with the research groups working on them, and their leaders. For the global context, representative institutions and authors are showed. Conclusions. Global trends are introduced, and also are the research initiatives in Colombia. Among the technologies, the most recurrent research works are about sensors, nanocomposites, packaging and safety.