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New Sustainable Coating for Food Packaging based on Starch and Seaweed Extracts

PLANTPACK

The project will develope new sustainable coatings seaweed and starch based for their application to paper and cardboard food packaging. These new coatings will improve the recyclability and biodegradability characteristics of the coatings and also the final food packaging developed.
Source of funds:
European
Scopes: Habitat / Consumer goods ;Food & Beverages;Cosmetic and pharmaceutical;Packaging;Waste, energy and water
Lines research: Development of New Advanced Materials;Optimization of packaging;Sustainability

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New Sustainable Coating for Food Packaging based on Starch and Seaweed Extracts (Plantpack)

The Paint Research Association (PRA) leads a European Consortium formed by ITENE, a large Enterprise and several SME´s partners that work together with funding from the European Commission under the Framework of the Seventh Framework Program (From the Research Executive Agency) to develop a novel sustainable, eco-friendly food packaging coating product made from seaweed extracts and starch, which will be applied to pater and cardboard in the form of a spray. This new sustainable and cost effective coating will replace the current petroleum derived coating products, and thus improve the sustainability and biodegrability characteristics of both, coatings and the final food packaging developed.

Food packaging coatings (on paper wraps, cartons and cardboard) are essential to providing a physical barrier to protect food products in the packaging container during storage and transportation. Current packaging coatings are based on petrochemical derived waxes and polymers. However, with increasing petroleum costs and recent instability and volatility in some oil producing countries, the food packaging sector is searching for an alternative reliable and sustainable coating product. This would also promote recycling characteristics of spent paper food packaging- currently this is difficult, as petroleum based coatings commonly used for this purpose reduce the compostability of paper and increase the difficulty of recycling these products.



The need for enabling tecnology 

Seaweed extracts (agar, alginates and carrageenan) have all been used to develope sustainable barrier materials for food and pharmaceutical products but never been applied as coatings for packaging products since their physical characteristics are not adequate- specifically their poor flexibility and limited stregth. This project will formulate seaweed extracts with starch derivates to overcome these limitations for application to paper packaging. Starch derivates are already used to manufacture sustainable packaging products with good flexibility and stregth characteristics. With new science on the blending and formulation of seaweed extracts and starch we will overcome the current limitations of seaweed extract coating technology and we will be able to develop a new competitive sustainable coating for specific food packaging applications. 

Duration: 2 years (2012-2014)


Companies involved:

THE PAINT RESEARCH ASSOCIATION LIMITED BY GUARANTEE (PRA)

ALTIN GIDA MAMULLERI TICARET VE SANAYI ANONIM SIRKETI

ALEXIR PACKAGING LIMITED

YANKO SP ZOO

SEAWEED CANARIAS SL

MANTROSE UK LIMITED

INSTITUTO TECNOLOGICO DEL EMBALAJE, TRANSPORTE Y LOGISTICA (ITENE)

Financing:
7th Framework Programme

7th Framework Programme

European Union

European Union