Food Engineering Reviews

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 11–32 | Cite as

Radiofrequency Identification and Surface Acoustic Wave Technologies for Developing the Food Intelligent Packaging Concept

  • Antonio López-Gómez
  • Fernando Cerdán-Cartagena
  • Juan Suardíaz-Muro
  • María Boluda-Aguilar
  • María Esther Hernández-Hernández
  • María Angeles López-Serrano
  • Juan López-Coronado
Review Article


The food intelligent packaging (IP) technologies are reviewed with a particular emphasis on the possibilities of radiofrequency identification (RFID) and surface acoustic wave (SAW) technologies for developing the food IP concept. Passive RFID and SAW technologies are the more promising ones to achieve a food IP that can wirelessly communicate the food quality to the different agents of the food chain. However, some drawbacks and cost of these technologies are limiting their massive use in food IP. This is the reason why a lot of research works are being currently performed that focus on increasing functionality (e.g., enabling the tag antenna as a sensing device) and reducing costs of components and materials of these RFID and SAW systems. Furthermore, benefits can be also achieved by means of integrating the RFID, SAW, and other sensing technologies. The RFID and SAW technologies can be embedded in a wireless sensor network (WSN), and the corresponding tags and readers can build more intelligent networks by sharing the sensing, logic, and transmission capabilities of the sensor networks. The above two technologies can be integrated in two different ways: sensor-enabled tags—RFID or SAW (or RFID or SAW sensor tags)—and RFID and/or SAW-embedded WSN. The application of these technologies on secondary packages, as the paperboard packages, can dilute the costs of application on primary packaging and allow the massive use of these technologies in the food supply chain.


Food packaging Sensing and communicating functions Sensor-enabled RFID tags Sensor-enabled SAW tags Mathematical model 



This review has been written during the realization of the ADFRESH Project (2011–2014), funded by a group of Spanish Agri-Food Companies, and the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio López-Gómez
    • 1
  • Fernando Cerdán-Cartagena
    • 2
  • Juan Suardíaz-Muro
    • 3
  • María Boluda-Aguilar
    • 1
  • María Esther Hernández-Hernández
    • 1
  • María Angeles López-Serrano
    • 1
  • Juan López-Coronado
    • 4
  1. 1.Food Engineering and Agricultural Equipment DepartmentUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain
  2. 2.Information and Communication Technologies DepartmentUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain
  3. 3.Electronic Technology DepartmentUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain
  4. 4.Automatics and Systems Engineering DepartmentUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain

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