Materials and technologies – March 2023

06 April 2023

Addition of copper in packaging
A Hainan University study (abstract) published in the journal Food Science and Food Safety summarises the latest developments in the application of copper nanofillers for biobased packaging films. The incorporation of copper nanoparticles improves the films properties and increases the functional performance by extending shelf life and enhancing food safety.
Researchers of several Romanian Universities synthesised food packaging from copper and PLA. It was observed that an increase in the content of copper leads to a decrease in transition temperatures of PLA, which can be advantageous for certain applications. The study (7.06 MB) is published in Materials.

Waste to packaging
Scientists from the University of Zagreb found that secondary green packaging and labelling made from discarded fibres can be printed on by the offset printing process. In contrast, an additional coating or filler in the paper structure is required for gravure printing. The study (4.39 MB) is published in Sustainability.
University of Coimbra and CiTechCare researchers reviewed the valorisation of food residues for edible films and coatings. These products present advantages regarding biodegradability, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, and even nutritional benefits. However, more research is required to scale up these technologies to a commercial level. The review (1.59 MB) is published in Current Opinion in Food Science.
Scientists at the University of Twente are collaborating with companies to investigate how to make new products from so-called complex and 'wet' waste streams. The project, called ReBBloCS, will connect parties to link their knowledge and look for ways to convert residual waste streams into raw materials to make, e.g., bio-based plastics. The project received a subsidy of €3.8 million from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).
The University of Twente and Universitat Rovira i Virgilli will receive investments from CCEPV to accelerate their research in carbon capture technologies. Through these R&D projects, Coca-Cola explores how captured CO2 can be utilised to make useful products like packaging materials for their bottles.

Innovation of bio-based polymers
Researchers at UTS Climate Change Cluster have developed biodegradable plastics from algae and created a final paper describing these products’ sustainability and market potential. The report (1.98 MB) includes an identification of key sustainability hotspots, a recommendation for product developers, and the policy context.
Penn State scientists propose nanotechnology for the transportation of cellulose nanocrystals, which makes them easier to transport while maintaining their full functionality. Cellulose nanocrystals are bio-based nanomaterials derived from natural resources, such as plant cellulose and are valuable for their use in various industries, like packaging and coatings. The study (abstract) is published in Biomacromolecules.

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