The EU-funded NanoPack project has developed flexible plastic food film with antioxidants and antimicrobial properties to decelerate food spoilage, which it is now readying for market launch. After a series of antimicrobial efficacy tests, the new packaging was found to extend the shelf-life of bread, yellow cheese and cherries and maintain food quality and safety standards. The results of the tests are being presented at the NanoPack Final Conference, part of the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (AIPIA) World Congress, November 18-19, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
“The technology can be applied not only to food packaging, but also to a wide variety of cosmetic packaging. It presents a platform for many applications and can form the base of a large market worth hundreds of millions of euros, if not billions,” Simon van Dam, Senior Member, NanoPack Project Executive tells PackagingInsights.
The AIPIA Congress is set to provide the project with an excellent opportunity to present the impressive results achieved using NanoPack novel antimicrobial polymer films to a huge group of stakeholders, according to NanoPack’s coordinator Ester Segal, Associate Professor at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
The results of the efficacy tests revealed that the antimicrobial packaging inhibited mold growth in bread by at least three weeks, increased saleability of fresh cherries by 40 percent and doubled the shelf-life of yellow cheese.
NanoPack confirms that this packaging initiative provides an effective means to reduce food waste, thus ultimately saving money for food producers, retailers and consumers alike while benefiting the environment.
“We expect that it will require at least one to two years to finalize the development and obtain the required regulatory approvals. We are currently at a Technology Readiness Level of 7 out of 9, which is the stage needed to achieve a commercially ready technology,” says van Dam.
He affirms that this technology taps into the trend of increased sustainability, achieving two objectives: reducing food waste, while doing so through fully recyclable packaging.