Success Story: CORNET project SELECTPERM
Innovative packaging system for ‘freshcut’ products with selective permeability to oxygen and carbon dioxide
In the last ten years freshly cut fruit, vegetables or cheese have been gaining in importance in consumer consumption and have led to a strong growing market in the retail food industry. However, there continues to be no efficient packaging solution for these products. The current packaging for these ‘freshcut’ products are perforated films and closed conventional packages allowing a very limited gas exchange to occur. Both have drawbacks: in the first case, it is not possible to adjust modified atmospheric conditions inside the package. This can lower the shelf life of the packed goods. In the latter case, the barrier effect against oxygen and carbon dioxide is too big, which can promote anaerobic microbial growth inside the package.
Selected permeability will enhance shelf life and quality of ‘freshcut’ products
The main aim of the CORNET project SELECTPERM is the systematic development of a cost-effective, environmentally friendly package that is selectively permeable to oxygen and carbon dioxide. Its permeation characteristics are to be adjusted to the specific requirements of respiring goods. Ideally, the package will make it possible to optimally regulate the gaseous atmosphere in its interior for the packed food, thus increasing the shelf life and quality. Freshly cut fruit salads and wedges of fresh white mould cheese (Camembert) are to serve as examples of packaged products. In the case of the packaging materials used, particular focus will be placed on ecologically beneficial packaging materials as well as their simple and easy recyclability.
Innovative research that will strengthen the sustainability approach of the whole industry while reducing costs
The new and innovative core parts of the project are a systematic analysis of how permselective, cost-effective and environmentally compatible packaging can be developed and tailored to a target product. A numerical model is to be used to calculate the selective permeability for optimized atmosphere storage. This numerical model will be developed and validated during the course of the project on the basis of experimentally determined permselectivity data of different polymers, polymer blends or coating materials. The main outcome of the project will be a concept for innovative paper- and plastic-based packaging materials which can be used for example as substitutes for perforated packaging films. These materials with tailored permselectivity to oxygen and carbon dioxide will improve the shelf life of fresh, respiring food.
Business potential for the food, packaging and supplier industries
Currently, all players in the value chain are very interested in packaging that prolongs the freshness of ‘freshcut’ products and thus their sales period. The value chain includes regional agricultural enterprises and food producers as well as food processing plants, packaging manufacturers and their supplier industries. These are all sectors in which numerous SMEs have already been well established and that offers good development possibilities for SMEs.
Project duration: 2014 to 2016
Contact: Dr. Markus Kleebauer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, PTS – Papiertechnische Stiftung
Participants from Germany
PTS – Papiertechnische Stiftung – Coordinating Association and Researcher
IVLV – Industry Association for Food Technology and Packaging – Association
FGK – Forschungsgesellschaft Kunststoffe e.V. – Association
IVV – Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging – Researcher
LBF – Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability – Researcher
Participants from Belgium-Wallonia
CELABOR – Scientific and Technical Services Centre – Researcher
CERTECH – The Centre of Technological Resources in Chemistry – Researcher
Participants from Poland
PIO – Polish Chamber of Packaging- Association
COBRO – Packaging Research Institute – Researcher
ZUT/CBIMO – The West Pomeranian University of Technology – Researcher
Pictures: © Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS)