The growing demands of consumers and modern market trends have been challenging fresh produce industries to utilize and advance the science and technology of edible packaging beyond creating a shiny surface for aesthetic purposes. Today, edible films and coatings must perform complex tasks of creating an edible water vapor barrier, modifying the internal atmosphere within the fresh commodity and providing biochemical and microbial surface stability by controlled release of an extensive selection of desirable active ingredients in order to improve the market life of fresh commodities, both in the form of whole or fresh-cut, in modern-day distribution. Diverse edible materials have been explored offering a wide range of barrier, mechanical, visual, and control-release properties. Advance blending and manufacturing technologies allow edible composite packaging materials to achieve specific functional applications by virtue of emulsion-based film or multilayer structure. Although research in this area is extensive, active edible coatings have not been widely implemented on a commercial scale for specific atmospheric modification or controlled release of active compounds. It is imperative that edible films and coatings for fresh horticultural products must progress through scientific design and modeling in order to efficiently manipulate complex dynamic interrelated factors governing the quality and shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables. Trial-and-error experiments are not only time and effort consuming, expensive, and subjective but also often without unifying principles to fine-tune the continued research. Last but not least, novel applications of edible films and coatings for fresh produce have to overcome complicated consumer challenges and adhere to rigorous regulatory requirements.