Research

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Applications of bioplastics for food packaging

Description

The project aims to study shelf life of different groups of food products in (multilayer)-bioplastics packaging, going from short shelf life products (e.g. fresh meat) till long shelf life products (e.g. biscuits). In recent years, both packaging producers and research institutes have searched for techniques to improve the functionality of bioplastics such as lamination, coating and blending of different bioplastics. This project will investigate the applicability of these materials to pack different food products in close cooperation with 21 companies and different research institutes. The main focus is flexible packaging for MAP-applications.
Shelf life will be evaluated by both different microbiological (e.g. spoilage bacteria), chemical (e.g. oxidation processes) and nutritional (e.g. vitamin degradation) analyses during storage experiments. Prior to these experiments, tests on permeability, mechanical resistance and sealability will be performed (if data are not yet available in case of e.g. newly developed materials). After the storage experiments, tests on printability as well as migration tests will be performed.

This project follows the suggestions made by both the food and packaging sector in Belgium during a meeting, organised by Pack4Food. It aims to increase the knowledge of different stakeholders within the food industry regarding which type of (multilayer)-bioplastics is appropriate for which type of food products. Scientific data will inform
stakeholders such as food producers on the possibilities of (multilayer)-bioplastics in order to
increase the share of bioplastics in the food sector.

Period

September 1, 2010 - August 31, 2012

Staff

Lab work
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