News in brief

Nanotechnology forms part of EU project

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An EU project is to run pilot lines in operational industrial environments to manufacture antimicrobial polymer films.

NanoPack, starting in January 2017 and running until the end of 2019, will be co-ordinated by Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology.

Partners include Constantia Flexibles, Dawn Meats Group, Arla Foods, Vertech Group Stichting Effost and a Fraunhofer unit.

The project will use natural Halloysite Nanotubes (HNTs) as carriers of bio-active compounds which do not migrate from the packaging into food.

Processes will be validated through five 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.

NanoPack will result in nanotechnology-based antimicrobial packaging that will enhance food safety, prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and reduce food waste caused by early spoilage.

As part of a previous project, also called NanoPack, Technion developed multifunctional nanomaterials and devices for use in intelligent forms of food packaging.

The materials were based on electrochemically-prepared nanostructured inorganic porous scaffolds, composed of silicon (Si) and silicon oxide (SiO2) and hybrids with various polymers/hydrogels.

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