Materials and technologies - October 2019

01 November 2019

Polystyrene, graphene and chemically recycled plastics
Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that polystyrene may degrade in decades or centuries when exposed to sunlight, rather than thousands of years as previously thought. The study (1.32 MB) is published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters.
Within its ChemCycling project, BASF is developing pilot products with various customers using chemically recycled plastics. At a K 2019 press conference 4 partners showcased the first prototypes, including applications for packaging.
The Graphene Flagship expects short-term applications in the materials sector, with graphene-enabled inks, composites, and coatings, for applications including food packaging.

Polyurethane made from CO2 and biodegradable starch-based films
ScienceDaily reports that a new material that can selectively capture carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules and efficiently convert them into useful organic materials has been developed by researchers at Kyoto University. The converted material can be used to make polyurethane, a material with a wide variety of applications including packaging.
Researchers from the Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences and Health Services have conducted a review of the application of edible and biodegradable starch-based films in food packaging. The review is published in Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science.

Food packaging
Washington State University scientists have developed a way to triple the shelf life of ready-to-eat macaroni and cheese. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Food and Bioprocess Technology. At the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, PhD student Michelle Mendoza-Enano has been testing different types of packaging and processing methods for ‘fresh-cut’ watermelon. An article (213 kB) about her research is published in Data in Brief.
For MEATCON2019, researchers at the Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology in Serbia published an article (207 kB) on recent findings about poultry meat spoilage and packaging systems. Other researchers at the same institute published a review article (217 kB) on the most important aspects of packaging food in modified atmosphere (MAP).

Information about food
WUR has appointed Hans-Gerd Janssen as Professor by Special Appointment to work on the recognition of aromatics in food. He wants to develop sensors that can ‘recognise’ whether food is fresh or spoiled.
Label Says Ltd has, in collaboration with the University of Sunderland, created an edible printed ink code that can be added directly onto all types of food. The information is accessible when each product is scanned by an app, providing a fully augmented reality experience.

Prices for (recycled) plastics
EVMI (in Dutch) reports that, according to an analysis by S&P Global, the demand for recycled PET could soon come under pressure as prices for virgin plastic have fallen sharply in recent months.
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.

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