Materials and technologies – January 2020

12 February 2020

Prolonging the shelf life
Curtin University researchers have developed bionanocomposite films that can prolong the shelf life of fruits such as avocados and peaches. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Composites Part B: Engineering. Researchers at the Technische Univerität Graz have also developed methods to improve the shelf life of fruit and vegetables. University of Tehran research has found that clove essential oil loaded chitosan nanoparticles preserve the shelf life of pomegranate arils. An article (abstract) is published in Food Chemistry. In an article (1.16 MB) published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life, researchers at the National Technical University of Athens investigate the effect of active packaging with Satureja thymbra extracts on the shelf life of potato chips (crisps).

Research by Eindhoven University of Technology brings the production of recyclable plastic a step closer. An article (abstract) about the research is published in PNAS. A report (in Dutch, 1.48 MB) by the KIDV (in Dutch) looks at recyclable alternatives for laminates. An overview article (1.07 MB) by Nanjing Forestry University researchers on bioplastics and bio antimicrobial packaging is published in Advanced Industrial and Engineering Polymer Research. Researchers at Michigan State University aim to generate revenue from cherry waste for active packaging with antibacterial properties among other applications. Researchers at the University of New South Wales have discovered a novel way to turn banana plantation waste into (food) packaging material that is biodegradable and recyclable.
In collaboration with Fraunhofer, Beiersdorf has developed Nivea cosmetic bottles made of 100% recycled polyethylene (PE). Avantium has announced that it will be building its new plant at Chemie Park Delfzijl (NL). The 5-kiloton facility will produce plant-based FDCA – a key building block for many chemicals and plastics such as PEF.

During the final event of the NanoPack project, the consortium celebrated key project findings: inhibited mould growth in bread by at least 3 weeks; increased saleability of fresh cherries by 13% and expanded shelf-life of yellow cheese by at least 4 days. A recording of the event is published on YouTube. Universiti Putra Malaysia researchers have succeeded in deriving nanocellulose from oil palm biomass. One of the applications is packaging.

Researchers at Purdue University have created nontoxic and degradable adhesives that could be used for packaging. For this they used compounds in foods, like nuts, fruits and plants, all of which might have similar chemistry to the adhesives seen in shellfish that stick to rocks. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Advanced Sustainable Systems.
Researchers at Boston University have unveiled an alternative biodegradable adhesive that is made entirely of naturally derived chemical components. They were inspired by the plastic binders in paints that make them stick to the wall. An article (1.03 MB) about the research is published in Nature Communications.

Prices for plastics and how pulp prices are affected by Chinese market
Dutch trade magazine Vraag en Aanbod publishes a weekly overview of the prices for plastics (in Dutch). The prices given are estimated averages between the gross prices published in the trade journals and the net prices.
Rabobank has published a report (305 kB) on the increasing pulp market in China and how this is affecting the price movements in other regions in the world.

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