The value of the global market for packaging is estimated to be approximately US$ 417 billion per year and represented by 100,000 industries and 5 million employees (Lacroix 2015). Food packaging represents 65% of the market share, accounting for nearly US$ 100 billion in the United States of America, US$ 80 billion in Japan, US$ 29 billion in Germany and US$ 19 billion in France (Lacroix 2015). Despite the size of the packaging industry, it is estimated that nearly 50% of agricultural products are lost due to the absence of proper packaging, bad weather and physiological processes such as breathing, perspiration and the degradation of vitamins, pigments and carbohydrates, which could deteriorate the food quality and compromise its safety (Lacroix 2015). Improvements in the packaging technology of foodstuff could reduce food spoilage and shortages in certain regions of the world (Khan et al. 2012). Historically, food packaging was created to provide a barrier to protect from microorganisms, moisture, gas and the migration of substances towards food. Other basic functions have been added, for instance, communication, convenience and containment (Silvestre et al. 2011). However, these 235functionalities are no longer sufficient. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States of America estimates that 48 million people are affected by foodborne diseases each year (Lacroix 2015). In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that annually one in every 10 people have exhibited health problems derived from the consumption of contaminated products; it is estimated that 420,000 people died as a result (Chaib 2015) of the same. Therefore, the prevention or minimization of the growth of pathogenic microorganisms in food represents a challenge for the food packaging industry (Lacroix 2015). However, the industry also has other issues to solve, such as increasing consumer demand for ready to eat foods, requests to decrease or remove additives from packaging and preservation materials, changes in retail and distribution practices associated with globalization, and stricter requirements regarding consumer health and safety (Lacroix 2015).
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