CQ_001: Scout is looking for Novel Antimicrobial Packaging Technologies - 28/06/13 -
The Scout is looking for cost effective novel packaging technologies that will effectively contribute to the control of microbial growth in foodstuffs. Antimicrobial food packaging materials have to extend the lag phase and reduce the growth rate of microorganisms in order to extend shelf life and to maintain product quality and safety.
The incorporation of the active components (antimicrobials) into the package walls can be realized by diverse means which can include as dispersions for coatings, as constituents which are melt blended during plastic extrusion or by functionalization of package surface. From there, the active agent can be released into the food or headspace to make their beneficial action, can remove food or headspace components which are absorbed into the polymer matrix or act by food contact.
Key Success Criteria:
Key characteristics of the successful technology:
- A new packaging technology or proven concept that will allow an effective control of microbial growth in foodstuffs such as in fresh meat and fresh fish.
- Antimicrobials should be incorporated at no more than 1- 2 % w/w of the packaging material
- Not negatively impact the food products
- Ideally patent protected
Possible Areas to Investigate:
- Coating or adsorbing antimicrobials onto polymer surfaces
- Incorporation of volatile and non-volatile antimicrobial agents directly into polymers
- Immobilization of antimicrobials to polymers by ion or covalent linkages
- Use of polymers that are inherently antimicrobial
- Combinations of more than one antimicrobial incorporated into packaging
- Controlled release of active agents