Extending shelf life is one of the challenges of the food sector. Currently, modified atmosphere processes are used in the case of meats and fresh food, as well as packaging including multilayer structures with metallised materials for snacks, resulting in products made from non-renewable sources which are also very difficult to recycle.
In order to achieve environmentally sustainable packages with optimal conditions for preservation, Aimplas has coordinated the Refucoat project.
Through investigation carried out in the project, innovative material based on biopolymers will be developed, thus replacing those currently used in food packaging in the form of films and trays.
Specifically, polyglycolic acid (PGA) is going to be combined with modified silica oxide in order to formulate a hybrid coating with oxygen and water vapour barrier properties. Furthermore, a new PLA grade from corn wastes will be developed, with better water vapour barrier values than commercial grades. These developments are going to be combined in order to create recyclable packages for chicken, cereals and snacks.
In the project, a total of 12 partners from five countries are taking part. It is being funded by the European Union.