Materials and technologies – February 2023

28 February 2023

Guidelines for high-quality paper bags
The Paper Bag Platform (339 kB), a collaboration of Europe’s Kraft paper and paper bag manufactures, has published guidelines (1.11 MB) for high-quality paper bags. The guidelines define a paper bag to be of high-quality if it can carry at least 6 kg of products from the supermarket and is reusable up to five times for the same purpose. With the industry guidelines, paper bag producers are supported to produce bags that meet customers’ expectations in terms of product protection and durability.

Biobased and biodegradable packaging
Researchers from Virginia Tech have received a $2.4 million grant from the USDA for creating affordable bioplastics and reduce plastic waste on land and sea. The three-year project has the target of making bioplastics from food waste diverted from landfills, while keeping the production cost as low as possible.
TU Dublin scientists have reviewed the potential of nano-clays as reinforcing filler composites for bio-based packaging materials. These nanocomposites-based packs have strong mechanical properties, reduce the rate of biodegradation and have low-migration levels. In the future, the nano-clay will have the potency of developing low-cost food packaging. The study (1,8 MB) is published in the Journal of Nanostructure in Chemistry.

Innovations in meat and seafood packaging
Researchers at the University of Veterinary Sciences Brno have published an overview (335 kB) of packaging technologies to extend the shelf life of meat and fish, with a focus on modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). They found that MAP has many advantages, such as ensuring food safety and extending the shelf life by inhibiting the growth of spoilage microorganisms.
In a study (2.5 MB) published in Foods, researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia review the development of active and intelligent packaging for meat and seafood from food waste. Application of this type of packaging on meat and seafood products proved its efficiency by delaying the oxidation process, slowing microbial growth, maintaining the food quality, and prolonging the shelf-life.

Films and coatings
AIMPLAS has developed a PHA plastic film made from used restaurant coffee grounds, which can be applied to various types of flexible packaging. The plastic film was produced as part of the WaysTUP! Project, financed by the Horizon H2020 programme.
In an article (2.2 MB) published in Molecules, Shoolini University researchers review the use of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) for packaging films and coatings. It was found that applying GSE in food packaging is advantageous since the addition improves the films physiochemical and functional properties. However, further research is required for upscaling this new technology for commercial use.
Researchers at UCSI and I3L reviewed the potential of Asian plant extracts and essential oils incorporated into edible films (EF) for food packaging. These EFs have the potency to prevent foodborne pathogens, maintaining and lengthening the freshness of food products. The study (359 kB) is published in Coatings.

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