ENCAPSULAE (DIANA): Active packaging with sustainable additives to protect flour and rice against pests

ITENE has worked with SEPIOLSA, ICV-CSIC, and ENCAPSULAE to introduce essential oils into a polymer packaging, that act as a barrier to weevil pests, avoiding contamination and the consequent deterioration of those products.


Increasing food safety in packaging is limited by oxidation, related to exposure to UV radiation, and to diseases that can be transmitted or carried by food, the risk of which increases in the presence of pests.

Solutions for pest control compounds and UV protection of packaging are limited because they are toxic substances, with possible harmful effects on health and/or the environment.


Based in Castellón de la Plana, ENCAPSULAE was founded in 2018 as a spin-off of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and focuses on the development and commercialization of functional additives for active and smart packaging.

In this way, it seeks to increase food safety by extending the shelf life of food and accelerating the biodegradation of plastic packaging.

SEPIOLSA, headquartered in Azuqueca de Henares (Guadalajara), is a mining company founded in 1986 which is part of the Minersa Group, a leading company in the production, extraction and marketing of special clays used in different applications of the consumer industry.

On the other hand, Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (ICV-CSIC) is a strategic center of the latter located in Madrid that seeks to generate scientific knowledge in the field of ceramics and glass with the aim of transferring knowledge to the productive sector.

It is part of the Area of Materials Science and Technology of the CSIC and is focused on the development of research in the field of Science and Technology of Ceramic Materials and Glass.

Objective and expected results

The aim of the DIANA project, in which ENCAPSULAE, SEPIOLSA, and ICV-CSIC have participated with the assistance of ITENE, has been to increase the safety and shelf-life of food products, for which it has focused on solutions which eliminate the presence of eco-toxic compounds in food applications, as well as on the reduction of organic and plastic wastes for contributing to food preservation and sustainability.

The project has developed a new range of functional additives based on natural components.

The aim of these new additives is to offer active solutions to polymeric materials with this dual functionality (action against pests and UV radiation) to avoid the use of ecotoxic substances and increase their sustainability.