New active recyclable packaging with natural anti-oxidizing for the extension of the fresh food shelf life

FRESHFILM will create a highly-functional film food packaging, that will strongly serve two main end-user communities: Food Processing Industry & Plastic Packaging Industry (meat processing vs. fresh food processing). These are mature sectors which create annual revenues in Europe in 147 billion and 12 billion respectively and require continues innovation to differentiate in a strong-competition market and to attend a consumer demand with increasing level of quality exigency.

FRESHFILM will solve the main concerns regarding flexible packaging market: product time life, plastic weight, and multilayer recycling by extending fresh-food lifetime, reducing the weight of packaging and enabling recovery, recycling or reusing of the materials in the packaging.

The New Approach of the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste (EU/94/62) has set new targets for the European flexible supplier chain. Directive 94/62 requires reducing the weight of packaging and enabling recovery, recycling or reusing of the materials in the packaging. This project will develop an innovative recycling food packaging material for meat mainly and also for vegetables, salads, and pasta, with oxygen scavenger properties to enable a slowing of the oxidization process within the food being stored by creating an oxygen-poor atmosphere and effectively acting as an anti-oxidant. The natural oxygen scavenging compounds, which act as antioxidants, will be blended with extracts from natural herbs such as garlic, onion, cinnamon, cloves, thyme, and sage. Contrasting current barrier layers that prevent ingress of oxygen to manage down the oxygen content of the pack interior, the developed film will be entirely recycled at end-of-life. The science and technology required to do this will be challenging, yet the partnership comprises some of Europe's leading research and industrial.

The FRESHFILM project was developed as a means of helping the food industry to increase their competitiveness and was performed in collaboration with Centro Tecnológico de la Industria Cárnica de La Rioja (CTIC) and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft for a group of industrial partners in Estonia, UK, Czech Republic, Italy and Spain.

Inspiralia’s Advanced Materials Group was in charge of the development of the anti-oxidizing layer and the protective coating for the Polyethylene (PE) layer.

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