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NanoPack -Pilot line production of functional polymer nanocomposites from natural halloysite nanotubes: demonstrating controlled release of active antimicrobials in food packaging applications.

Institutions
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Start date
2017
End date
2019
Objective
NanoPack will demonstrate a solution for extending food shelf life by using novel smart antimicrobial surfaces, applied in active food packaging products. It will run pilot lines in operational industrial environments to manufacture commercially feasible antimicrobial polymer films, accepted by consumers. It will minimize the amount of preservatives required to maintain freshness, add value and assure safety to the entire supply chain. The project will employ natural Halloysite Nanotubes (HNTs) as reliable and safe carriers of bio-active compounds which are unable to migrate from the food packaging into food. Maximising safety, they slowly release minute amounts of potent, volatile and broad-spectrum natural agents into the packaging headspace. Using nanotechnology enables 1) introducing sensitive molecules into polymer films; 2) anti-microbial functionality without impaired film properties; 3) manufacturing potent antimicrobial surfaces with tunable properties, while creating a pH-triggered ""gate keeper"" effect to slow down release of the payload encapsulated. The resulting film will exhibit antimicrobial properties unmet by the current state-of-the-art. The processes across the supply chain will be validated through 5 pilot runs on existing production lines: 1) loading antimicrobials, 2) anti-microbial HNT polymer production, 3) anti-microbial packaging film production and 4-5) using the novel packaging on food products. Commercial feasibility will be assessed, including consumer acceptance and legal, regulatory, safety and environmental aspects. The success of NanoPack will result in validated consumer-accepted nanotechnology-based antimicrobial food packaging that will enhance food safety, prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage. Better performing, safer and ‘smarter’ products will position Europe as the leader in food nanotechnology & smart antimicrobial packaging while increasing competitiveness and industry growth.
Funding Source
European Commission
Project source
View this project
Project number
720815
Categories
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Food Defense and Integrity
Packaging Residues