Sorption process can readily occur from many foods. The sorption behaviours result in loss of food quality and shelf life of the packaged foods by altering the aroma compound profile. Although the intensity of the aroma of a packaged foodstuff depends on the vapour pressure, the interaction of the volatile organic moieties with other food constituents and the aroma barrier characteristics of the package, the nature of the aroma is also imperative in determining the extent of sorption. Sorption properties are largely determined by packaging characteristics, flavour molecules properties, food matrix composition and environmental conditions. The chemical composition, chain stiffness, morphology, polarity and crystallinity of the polymer influence flavour absorption as much as the chemical composition, concentration and polarity of the flavour compounds, as well as the presence of other chemical constituents. External factors such as duration of storage, relative humidity, temperature and the presence of other food components can also affect the solubility of aroma compounds in packaged foods. Factors relating to both chemical and physical structure of flavour, food and packaging influence the degree of sorption and also the sorption pattern. Sorption from the packaged foods is of major concern in the selection and use of plastic packaging materials for food packaging. The present review highlights some of the major factors influencing the sorption process. The scientific principles related to sorption are reviewed and distinguished. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.