Food Packaging Research Group
Innovative and sustainable packaging materials and processes for safe, high quality food.
The main goal of the Food Packaging Research Group is to develop innovative and sustainable packaging materials and processes to ensure that food is of high quality and safe.
Packaging plays an important role in maintaining food quality from production to consumption. Two important trends are currently driving the development of packaging materials: the trend in consumer preferences for minimally processed food without preservatives; and the demand for sustainable packaging products. In order to satisfy the needs of these trends, we develop innovative and sustainable packaging materials in close cooperation with food and packaging manufacturers.
Active and intelligent packaging is an example an innovative packaging technology. In contrast to traditional packaging materials, active packaging can play a further role, in addition to the passive barrier function, that ensures the quality of the food is maintained. Intelligent or smart packages allow the current quality status of a foodstuff to be monitored and communicated to the outside. In close collaboration with industry partners, we develop innovative active packaging materials such as:
- Oxygen scavengers
- Antimicrobial films
- Antioxidant releasers
Determining the most suitable packaging process depends on the type of food. At the Food Packaging Research Group, we work closely with the food and packaging industries and support them by:
- applying existing processes to new applications
- optimising packaging processes to better preserve the quality of food
- developing new packaging processes for existing or new products
Biopackaging is made from renewable and/or biodegradable resources and can replace conventional packaging materials. However, technological properties of bioplastics often do not fulfil the desired performance criteria for application as a primary packaging material in the food industry. At the Food Packaging Research Group, we work on the development of bio-based packaging materials and in close cooperation with various food and packaging manufacturers optimise processes for their application in food packaging.
Shelf life of food is very complex and depends on different factors. In addition to the food’s intrinsic properties, packaging also plays an important role. At the Food Packaging Research Group, we are developing a shelf life simulation programme to simulate the shelf life of various packaged food products. This tool will enable the influence of each individual factor, such as packaging design, material and process to be simulated so that the packaging can be optimised for a targeted shelf life. Possible applications of such a tool will be:
- Optimisation of packaging materials
- Evaluation of alternative packaging materials
- Definition of suitable packaging for a targeted shelf life
- Definition of packaging for new products
- Optimisation of packaging process and storage conditions
Athanassiou, Athanassia, ed.,
Sustainable Food Packaging Technology.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/9783527820078.ch12
Barra, Ana; Santos, Jéssica D. C.; Silva, Mariana R. F.; Nunes, Cláudia; Ruiz-Hitzky, Eduardo; Gonçalves, Idalina; Yildirim, Selçuk; Ferreira, Paula; Marques, Paula A. A. P.,
10(10), pp. 2077.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10102077
Meeting of Swiss Society of Cosmetic Chemist, Winterthur, 17. - 18. Januar 2020.
Packaging Technology and Science.
22nd IAPRI World Packaging Online Conference, Monterrey, Mexico, 16-19 June 2020.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/pts.2508
1st International Food Engineering Congress, Antalya, Turkey, 7-9 November 2019.
COST Action – Rethinking packaging for circular and sustainable food supply chains of the future (CIRCUL-A-BILITY)
Food packaging is designed to protect the food through its supply chain, communicate to customers, and to ensure food quality, safety and optimal shelf life. Progress is now needed to secure its circularity, minimize food waste and improve sustainability. CIRCUL-A-BILITY aims to go beyond the state of the art by ...
PiFoBake: Particel stabilized foams with high mechanical and thermal resiliance for the application in baked goods from non-wheat raw materials
Optimised properties of gluten free baked goods will be achieved through the formation of a foamed pre-mix stabilized with particles (pickering foam) and, thus, highly resistant against shear and temperature. This pre-mix is in a second step mixed with the other bread ingredients, kneaded and baked. ...
Strategies to reduce food loss and valorize side streams in food industry: buildup of an industrial consortium
Calcium carbonate based active packaging
The aim of this project is to develop antimicrobial and oxygen scavenging materials for food packaging applications. Both antimicrobial and oxygen scavenging functions will be developed using ground or modified calcium carbonate which has a very high potential to incorporate active ingredients into packaging and to ...
BIOPAC (Biopolymer based bioactive food packaging)
The aim of this project is to design and investigate new biopolymer systems as carriers of natural bioactive compounds with antioxidant and/or antimicrobial properties, to apply them for food packaging and assess their performance. The polysaccharide matrices will be obtained by the means of chemical modification of ...
Further confidential industry projects