Materials and technologies – January 2023

02 February 2023

Technology development for the packaging industry
Researchers at the University of Lisbon reviewed the latest trends in sustainable polymeric food packaging films, focusing on the new method of 3D printing. They found that this technology still needs to be well-developed; however, if it is more widely employed in the future, it can lead to a reduction in plastic pollution and safer food consumption. The study (1.10 MB) is published in Foods.
Scientists at Shahjalal University reviewed nanoparticles in food packaging. The antimicrobial nanoparticles can be used to protect the products against bacteria, extending the shelf-life and freshness. Also, nanoparticles make the packs strong, light and less accessible to oxygen. The research (1.79 MB) is published in Heliyon.
In a study by the Italian Institute of Technology, researchers describe the development of a self-powered defrosting sensor. The device can detect if the product was exposed to above-the-threshold temperatures and can be helpful to end consumers and workers to ensure that the food was correctly frozen during the entire supply chain. The research (6.70 MB) is published in ACS Sensors.
Researchers from the Technological University of Dublin reviewed an effective method, cold plasma (CP), to enhance the functionality and features of biopolymers. CP treatment improves water vapour permeability, strength, and elongation and decreases oxygen permeability. The research (2.87 MB) is published in Coatings.

Biobased and biodegradable polymers
University of Bath researchers conducted a review on biodegradable biopolymers for active food packaging. They discovered, among other things, that biodegradability should be rigorously tested so that no formation of micro or nano-plastics persists in the environment. The research (859 kB) is published in Sustainable Food Technology.
University of Amsterdam scientists present a synthesis strategy for fully biobased polyesters from the secondary diol isosorbide. The new synthesis method overcomes the previous low reactivity of secondary diols in polymer synthesis and is a big step toward the commercial adaption of fully biobased polyesters. The study (1.86 MB) is published in Nature Communications.
Researchers from the University of Konstanz developed a novel polyester material from biobased resources. The material has properties similar to PE, can biodegrade in industrial composting conditions within two months and can be recycled. The study is published in Angewandte Chemie.

Antimicrobial packaging
Researchers from two universities in Bucharest studied antimicrobial active packaging. They looked at incorporating nisin, an antibacterial peptide, into food packaging materials. They found that nisin addition leads to a considerable reduction in bacterial load, maintains the product qualities and prolongs shelf-life. The study (815 kB) is published in Foods
Scientists from two universities in Bulgaria examined lavender essential oil treatment on paper packs. Results indicate that the treatment caused an antifungal effect and increased antimicrobial efficiency; therefore, treatment with this oil has a promising perspective for preventing microbial spoilage and the shelf-life extension of products. The research (1.66 MB) is published in Coatings.

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