Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Research project seeks to extend product shelf life with new packaging materials

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Research project seeks to extend product shelf life with new packaging materials
An EU-funded project will develop new copolymers and active packaging solutions for modified atmosphere and stretch wrap packaging
In Development – The project started in January 2012 and will be completed by the end of 2014.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – Flexible, Plastic – rigid, Plastics - Other / mixed

Relevant Packaging Formats
Other

Supply Chain Phase
Filling, Raw materials / Ingredients

Details

A three year project funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) aims to develop two novel biopolymer materials which will extend the shelf life of food products.

The first material will be a PHB-copolymer stretch wrap film suitable for the replacement of conventional stretch film. Stretch wrap is material widely used by supermarkets for the in-store packaging of various food types, including: meats, poultry, fish, fruit, vegetables, cheese, deli etc. Whilst demonstrated specifically for beef steaks, the novel PHB-copolymer stretch films resulting from the project are anticipated to be directly suitable for the packaging of most food produce where conventional stretch films are used.
 
The second material will be gas barrier sheets and films suitable for the manufacture of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), including vacuum packaging. MAP is widely used throughout the food industry for the packaging of many food types, including: fresh meats, poultry and fish; ready meals; pre-cooked foods etc. MAP is a popular packaging system for fresh and cooked produce as it enables an extension in food shelf life. The novel HBcopolymer MAP materials resulting from the project are anticipated to be directly suitable for the packaging of most food produce where conventional MAP packaging is used.
Alongside this, the project will seek to develop an accurate, tuneable and reliable intelligent indicator system that may be directly printed onto packaging materials, combining integrated time temperature indicators with lipid oxidation indicators (freshness), thereby providing assurances of food shelf life, safety and quality.
 
The results of the development work will be validated within industrial packaging production processes, including performance assessment with regards to active and intelligent functionality and the impact on food shelf life, quality and safety.
The project, entitled ISA-Pack, has a budget of €3.9million, and the research consortium is made up of experts drawn from ten technology centres across Europe.

The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

Through shelf life extension the project is targeting a 50-75% reduction in fresh food waste in the supply chain.

Intellectual Property

Each partner involved in the project will own the intellectual property rights to the aspect they develop.

Consultant View

The European Commission is funding a number of research projects targeting improved resource efficiency and waste reduction in the food sector. Some projects seek to achieve this through improved packaging, others target reducing waste arising from food processing operations. Readers interested in learning more about the projects funded by the EU’s seventh framework programme can visit http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/projects_en.html . Relevant projects are also included in the REID database. Try searching using “research” as a key word.

Contacts and Further Information

Mark Brigden
Biopac UK Limited
Tel 01386 55577
Email Address: info@biopac.co.uk
http://www.isapack.eu/products.htm

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