ISA-Pack will develop a flexible sustainable, active and intelligent technology platform for the packaging of fresh food produce, targeting extended shelf life and quality, enhanced safety and reduced food and packaging waste. Whilst suitable for a wide range of foods, ISA-Pack will validate the resulting materials and technologies for modified atmosphere and stretch wrap packaging of fresh beef steaks.
Key objectives include: <ul>
<LI> to develop novel unsaturated polyhydroxybutyrate copolymer materials derived from microbial fermentation of sustainable feed-stocks and incorporating low volume cross linkages, demonstrating enhanced properties suitable for high performance gas barrier and stretch film packaging applications;
<LI> to identify synergistic combinations of active food preservation chemistries that may be covalently bound (grafted) within polymeric materials using reactive extrusion techniques; resulting in high efficacy active packaging materials, impacting minimally on food organo-leptic properties, ensuring compliance with food ingredient / migration limits; and demonstrating extended food shelf life and quality and improved safety;
<LI> to develop an accurate, tuneable and reliable intelligent indicator system that may be directly printed onto packaging materials (cost efficiency), combining integrated time temperature indicators (microbe growth) with lipid oxidation indicators (freshness), thereby providing assurances of food shelf life, safety and quality;
<LI> to validate the ISA-Pack results within industrial packaging production processes, including performance assessment with regards to active and intelligent functionality and impact on food shelf-life, quality and safety;
<LI> to undertake a full life cycle and economic assessment of the ISA-Pack products, ensuring clear and quantified results addressing specific priority concerns;
Through extension of shelf life the ISA-Pack seeks to reduce retailer supply chain wastage of fresh food produce by 75%.
Funded under 7th FWP (Seventh Framework Programme)