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Food Processing and Packaging Technology Using Micro Scale Gase Generating Propell

Day, Nicholas
Inoflate LLC
Start date
End date

DESCRIPTION: The proposed research would determine the feasibility of using proven energetic materials as active packaging components for integration into primary packaging, thereby providing a controllable and noninvasive means of altering the atmosphere inside the package after it has been processed and hermetically sealed. This active packaging technology can be used in a number of modified atmosphere applications including container pressurization, product blanketing, oxygen scavenging, tamper evidence, etc.]] The initial proposed technology application will be to the nonalcoholic beverage industry; specifically the flavored noncarbonated (flat) beverage sector (e.g. juices, teas, isotonics, energy and health drinks, etc.) which is growing rapidly and cannibalizing the declining carbonated (fizzy) soft drink volume as health and wellness continues to be a priority with American Consumers. Most of these beverages are packaged in plastic bottles. These bottles, on average, have 60% more resin than carbonated soft drinks and water bottles due to the filling process - hot fill. The research is intended to demonstrate the capability to light weight these bottles to near carbonated soda bottle resin amounts, when using a novel pressurization technique made available through this technology. [[ The research will quantify the technical feasibly of the Device and the business opportunity for the packaging suppliers and beverage companies, thus promoting its rapid market entry and green manufacturing opportunity; specifically, A) Determine the technical feasibility of various propellant blends using proven energetic materials as micro scale gas generators B) Confirm the technical feasibility of controlled actuation of Device protocepts in a standard 20 ounce PET bottle. ]] This technology innovation would impact the entire beverage industry from raw material to waste management with beneficiaries throughout the supply chain. Specifically: 300 million pounds less resin raw material; less energy (1.4 million barrels of crude oil) and thus lower cost for suppliers to make lighter weight bottles; beverage companies' ability to innovate and differentiate their products at lower cost; enhanced consumer appeal of healthier, non-chemically preserved, flavored noncarbonated beverages further cannibalizing carbonated soda sales; and less waste - 240 million pounds of PET would not be sent to landfills or incinerators, or littered.
PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The ability to actuate the inflation of small, mass produced, sealed packages on demand using mg quantities of useful gases, (like a miniature vehicle airbag release) has uses beyond the beverage industry. It is possible to conceive of many applications across many industries that have an impact on public health, including food packaging, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. For example, having sealed packages containing sterile instruments inflated post autoclaving / sterilizing would indicate a potential sterility breach if the bag ever leaked.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project number
Bacterial Pathogens