A new type of sustainable food packaging material has been introduced to the market promising a significant increase in shelf life for fresh pasta and cheese. The new introduction has lowered the cost by 25 percent.Significantly, it reduces environmental and carbon footprint by up to 29 percent. This has been developed under BIO4MAP project.
The newly developed packaging material consists at least 75 percent of raw materials from renewable sources. It includes different layers of bioplastics – PLA, PVOH and adhesives – and a wax coating produced from olive leaves. It is easy to recycle and presents excellent mechanical properties. It is biodegradable and protects its content from oxygen and humidity, thereby preventing the development of bacteria and fungi.
The materials contained in the BIO4MAP’s packaging have a carbon footprint that is 57 percent lower than that of materials traditionally use to pack cheese and fresh pasta. The PLA boasts excellent mechanical properties and ease of recycling, whilst PVOH is a good gas barrier with water solubility: it disappears in the washing process, allowing PLA to be properly isolated and recycled. A wax coating processed by project partner Fraunhofer covers the external layer of the packaging, providing water vapour barrier and improving the flexibility of PLA.
Lower carbon footprint
Excellent mechanical properties
Ease of recycling
Ensures larger Shelf Life
All these materials are joined by a new generation of biodegradable adhesives, which is one of the main innovations brought by BIO4MAP.
The project, which had a budget of EUR 1.5 million, was coordinated by AIMPLAS – a research technology centre located in Spain with 25 years of experience in plastics research and development. ‘The role of AIMPLAS in this project, besides coordinating it, has been focused on developing the biodegradable and oxygen-barrier material needed to comply with the final requirements of the food to be packaged, as well as being the responsible of processing the new materials developed to obtain the new multilayer packaging,’ Nuria López, main Researcher at AIMPLAS, explained.