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Schmid M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging | Dallmann K.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging | Bugnicourt E.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | Cordoni D.,University of Pisa | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Polymer Science | Year: 2012

In case of food packaging applications, high oxygen and water vapour barriers are the prerequisite conditions for preserving the quality of the products throughout their whole lifecycle. Currently available polymers and/or biopolymer films are mostly used in combination with barrier materials derived from oil based plastics or aluminium to enhance their low barrier properties. In order to replace these non-renewable materials, current research efforts are focused on the development of sustainable coatings, while maintaining the functional properties of the resulting packaging materials. This article provides an introduction to food packaging requirements, highlights prior art on the use of whey-based coatings for their barriers properties, and describes the key properties of an innovative packaging multilayer material that includes a whey-based layer. The developed whey protein formulations had excellent barrier properties almost comparable to the ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH) barrier layer conventionally used in food packaging composites, with an oxygen barrier (OTR) of <2 [cm3(STP)/(m2d bar)] when normalized to a thickness of 100 m. Further requirements of the barrier layer are good adhesion to the substrate and sufficient flexibility to withstand mechanical load while preventing delamination and/or brittle fracture. Whey-protein-based coatings have successfully met these functional and mechanical requirements. © 2012 Markus Schmid et al. Source


Bugnicourt E.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | Cinelli P.,University of Pisa | Lazzeri A.,University of Pisa | Alvarez V.,University of the Sea
Express Polymer Letters | Year: 2014

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are gaining increasing attention in the biodegradable polymer market due to their promising properties such as high biodegradability in different environments, not just in composting plants, and processing versatility. Indeed among biopolymers, these biogenic polyesters represent a potential sustainable replacement for fossil fuel-based thermoplastics. Most commercially available PHAs are obtained with pure microbial cultures grown on renewable feedstocks (i.e. glucose) under sterile conditions but recent research studies focus on the use of wastes as growth media. PHA can be extracted from the bacteria cell and then formulated and processed by extrusion for production of rigid and flexible plastic suitable not just for the most assessed medical applications but also considered for applications including packaging, moulded goods, paper coatings, non-woven fabrics, adhesives, films and performance additives. The present paper reviews the different classes of PHAs, their main properties, processing aspects, commercially available ones, as well as limitations and related improvements being researched, with specific focus on potential applications of PHAs in packaging. © BME-PT. Source


Bugnicourt E.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | Schmid M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging | Schmid M.,TU Munich | Nerney O.Mc.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | And 4 more authors.
Advances in Materials Science and Engineering | Year: 2013

A biopolymer coating for plastic films was formulated based on whey protein, and its potential to replace current synthetic oxygen barrier layers used in food packaging such as ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH) was tested. The whey-coating application was performed at semi-industrial scale. High barrier to oxygen with transmission rate down to ranges of 1 cm3 (STP) m-2 d-1 bar-1 at 23 ° C and 50% relative humidity (r.h.) but interesting humidity barrier down to ranges of 3 g m-2 d-1 (both normalized to 100 m thickness) were reached, outperforming most existing biopolymers. Coated films were validated for storing various food products showing that the shelf life and sensory attributes were maintained similar to reference packaging films while complying with food safety regulations. The developed whey coating could be enzymatically removed within 2 hours and is therefore compatible with plastic recycling operations to allow multilayer films to become recyclable by separating the other combined layers. A life cycle assessment was performed showing a significant reduction in the environmental impact of the packaging thanks in particular to the possibility of recycling materials as opposed to incinerating those containing EVOH or polyamide (PA), but due to the use of biosourced raw materials. © 2013 E. Bugnicourt et al. Source


Cinelli P.,Consortium for Science and Technology of Materials | Schmid M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging | Schmid M.,TU Munich | Bugnicourt E.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | And 4 more authors.
Polymer Degradation and Stability | Year: 2014

The aim of the present study was to verify that a whey protein-based layer can improve oxygen barrier properties of commercial compostable plastic film, while not hindering the biodegradability of the compostable film as well as not affecting the quality of the compost. The whey protein-based coating was applied on a biodegradable commercial film certified to meet the requirements of EN13432. Oxygen barrier properties were significantly improved by the presence of the whey protein layer. This result is particularly important since biodegradable packaging generally lack in maintaining barrier properties and the use of not degradable materials to improve barrier to gas and water vapour compromises the composting of the final packaging. In addition to that, it was important to assess the biodegradability of the whey protein layer itself since natural polymers may became not degradable if cross-linked or blended with not degradable additives. The material based on denatured whey protein and plasticizer presented fast biodegradability even after application on the commercial film. These positive results have potential to be used in new cost effective and ecological food packaging designs. © 2014. Source


Bugnicourt E.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | Schmid M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging | Nerney O.M.,Innovacio i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible IRIS | Wild F.,Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging
Coating International | Year: 2010

Researchers have developed a new biomaterial made of whey protein, called Wheylayer, to replace expensive polymers such as ethyl vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH), and used as barrier coatings in the food packaging sector. The whey protein-coating is biodegradable thus the resulting multilayer films offer a greatly improved recyclability. The whey coating has the potential to extend the shelf life of food either by the addition of active substances or due to its intrinsic antioxidant and antimicrobials compounds. Whey is a by-product of cheese manufacture that is available in abundance. Wheylayer solution deliver huge benefits and added value across the food packaging supply and value chains such as dairy producers will be able to tap into a new application for discarded whey. Plastic and packaging industries will have access to more sustainable and recyclable packaging materials to substitute petroleum-based plastics without compromising on performance. The material is expected to be available in the market in the near future. Source

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