Project to preserve food with sustainable packaging

Monday, 15 January, 2018

Project to preserve food with sustainable packaging

Finding sustainable packaging that also extends the shelf life of food is one of the difficulties encountered by the food sector. While modified atmosphere processes have been popular for fresh food and metallised material has helped extend the shelf life of snacks, these are not long-term solutions as they are non-renewable and difficult to recycle.

Coordinated by AIMPLAS and funded by the European Union, project REFUCOAT aims to develop more sustainable food packaging that also effectively preserves food.Twelve partners from five countries are taking part in the project, which aims to replace the use of films and trays with packaging made from biopolymers.

Polyglycolic acid (PGA) will be combined with modified silica oxide in order to create a hybrid coating with oxygen and water vapour barrier properties. The project will also use corn wastes to develop a new PLA grade with better water vapour barrier values than commercial grades.

While the chicken meat packaging will be fully biodegradable, REFUCOAT will look at creating fully recyclable but non-biodegradable packages for cereals and savoury products.

It is expected that the project will improve performance of food packages, reduce landfill waste, be cost effective and increase the growth of the industry.

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