Materials and technologies – May 2023

30 May 2023

Biobased materials for packaging applications
Chemists from Colorado State University redesigned PHAs to addresses issues regarding lack of heat resistance, brittleness and unrealised recyclability. The new structural modification enhances thermal stability so that the PHAs are melt-processable, closed-loop chemically recyclable and mechanically tough. The study (1.46 MB) is published in Science.
Edible packaging material made from eggshells, EDGGY, was designed by University of Hohenheim students. The plant-based plastic looks like normal plastic but simply dissolves in hot water and the pack can be eaten after use. EDGGY received the price for most innovative idea in the EIT Food Solutions: Reuse2Repack challenge from the European Union.
The Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology in Spain aimed to valorise Agaricus bisporus, mushroom, residues to produce bio-based and biodegradable films. The films show good mechanical and barrier properties and easily disintegrate under composting conditions. The study (3.08 MB) is published in Food Hydrocolloids.
AIMPLAS is participating in the European PRESERVE Project with the aim of improving the performance of bioplastics. Within the framework of this research project, AIMPLAS is developing bio-based coatings with water vapour barrier properties and reinforced materials with improved mechanical properties while taking the entire life cycle into account, including end of life.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee reviewed halloysite nanotubes (HTNs) for active food packaging in a study (1.68 MB) published in Food and Bioprocess Technology. HTNs are naturally occurring nanomaterials and have been shown to possess unique properties such as thermal stability. The HTNs enhance the thermal and mechanical assets of food packaging materials, however the production method has to be optimised for a commercial scale.

Innovations in paper packaging
In a study led by University of Ljubljana researchers, chitosan-coated paper packaging was tested to examine the stability. The chitosan-coated paper samples exhibited a more even surface and improved barrier properties. Therefore, it was determined that the material is promising for packaging, printing and wrapping applications. The study (2.37 MB) is published in Coatings.
Penn State researchers suggest a process for creating durable paper bags which can be broken down chemically by an alkaline treatment for a source of biofuel production. They use torrefied cellulosic paper with enhanced strength for repeated use as packaging material. The findings (1.20 MB) are published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling.

Active packaging
An article (1.97 MB) published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life presents the release kinetics of essential oil added in active packaging. The study led by researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena found that a potential extension of product shelf life is reached with the use of the oils in the active packaging.

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