There is an increasing awareness of the need to develop innovative packaging materials that maintain or extend the shelf life of foodstuffs to reduce food waste and minimize the environmental footprint of packaging materials.
The ideal packaging involves lower carbon and water footprints, is biodegradable and/or compostable, makes use of wastes or by-products, is properly eco-designed, safe and has the right preservation properties to minimize food waste.
YPACK, a 3-year EU-funded project will use a holistic approach and methodology involving different knowledge areas to produce the appropriate packaging solution:
- Development of packaging solutions (Production of PHBV layers, compounding, prototyping, Industrial Validation)
- Product Validation (Quality / Shelf life)
- Social approach (Customer profiling, Dissemination, Policies & Regulatory)
- Market Assessment (Business study and Risk assessment)
YPACK will scale up production and commercially validate two innovative food packaging solutions based on polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA). The new packaging will make use of food industry by-products (cheese whey and almond shells) assure the biodegradability and recyclability, and reduce food waste, in the frame of the EU Circular Economy strategy. A rough estimate shows that an improvement of shelf life by 20% and 50% respectively, has a potential to reduce food waste with 12.5% to 30% respectively.
Specifically, YPACK will develop a:
- Fully renewable flow pack film
- Fully compostable tray
The validity of these two packaging solutions will be assessed in fresh products (meat, fruits & vegetables and fresh pasta), which are the most significant contributors to food waste. A consumer profiling and market study will be performed to identify consumers ́ preferences and market needs, and match them with the new EU regulations and packaging materials development.
More info: www.ypack.eu
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 773872.