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.
Innovative Packaging Materials
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
Development and Optimization of Food Packaging Processes
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 Simulation
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
Our packaging technology centre is equipped with a variety of packaging machines to pack different types of food, climatic chambers to store the food under controlled conditions, and analytical equipment to evaluate the quality of the packaged products.
Detailed information on the infrastructure in the packaging technology centre(PDF 247,3 KB)
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Yildirim, Selçuk; Ruinatscha, Reto; Gross, Rainer; Wohlgemuth, Roland; Kohler, Hans-Peter E.; Witholt, Bernard; Schmid, Andreas,
Selective hydrolysis of the nitrile group of cis-dihydrodiols from aromatic nitriles.
Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic.
38(2), pp. 76-83.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molcatb.2005.11.006
Yildirim, Selçuk; Franko, Telma T.; Wohlgemuth, Roland; Kohler, Hans-Peter E.; Witholt, Bernard; Schmid, Andreas,
Recombinant chlorobenzene dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. P51: a biocatalyst for regioselective oxidation of aromatic nitriles.
Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis.
347(7-8), pp. 1060-1072.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/adsc.200505075
Yildirim, Selçuk; Zezula, Josef; Hudlicky, Tomas; Witholt, Bernard; Schmid, Andreas,
Asymmetric dihydroxylation of cinnamonitrile totrans-3-[(5S,6R)-5,6-dihydroxycyclohexa-1,3-dienyl]-acrylonitrile using chlorobenzene dioxygenase in Escherichia coli (pTEZ30).
Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis.
346(8), pp. 933-942.
Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/adsc.200404032
Valorization of Swiss Agri-Food Side Streams
Food waste is a topic of concern worldwide as substantial amount of food ends up as waste along the food value chain. This represents not only a resource problem but also an environmental and economic one, on top of being a moral challenge for the modern society. The production of food waste covers all the food life ...
Sustainable Packaging Architecture
The goal of the project is to develop an interdisciplinary approach (packaging technology and materials, packaging design, environmental psychology and sustainability) to develop sustainable packaging concepts for existing or new products. Thereby different know-how and experiences in material development, food ...
Protective coatings for the extension of the shelf life of foods
The goal of the project is to develop and evaluate food coatings to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.
LOFT – Local food for the future
The project aims to improve vertical farming production and operational efficiency by combining innovative production know-how and technologies with enhanced sustainability. The approach will establish the feasibility and profitability of sustainable, year-round production of high-quality crops. ...
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 ...
Further confidential industry projects
We offer various opportunities for project collaboration. Projects are carried out in the form of research projects, development projects, services or student projects, such as semester papers, Bachelor’s theses, or Master’s theses.
For project inquiries, please contact