Packaging International News - March 2011
Freshness Coating For Plastic Packaging
Posted by Packaging International's US Correspondent on 28/03/2011 - 14:45:00
Scientists are developing a new packaging freshness coating for plastic packaging they say could help increase the shelf life of food and drink.
Researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, have developed a transparent coating made from a combination of clay and polymers that can be applied to plastic packaging materials. This, they say, could help keep products fresher for longer - for example, helping fizzy drinks and sodas stay bubbly for months longer than usual.
The scientists unveiled the product at the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
"This is a new, ‘outside of the box' technology that gives plastic the superior food preservation properties of glass," said Jaime Grunlan, Ph.D. from the university. "It will give consumers tastier, longer lasting foods and help boost the food packaging industry."
The packaging coating they've developed combines montmorillonite clay particles - a soil ingredient used to make bricks - with a variety of polymers. Viewed under the microscope, it looks like bricks and mortar, leading the scientists to use the term ‘nano bricks' to describe it.
The researchers say the film - which is invisible to the naked eye, being thousands of times thinner than a human hair - is not only more cheaper than existing packaging coatings but is also more effective. Grunlan said that by adding the ‘nano bricks' film to packaging researchers found they were able to block oxygen more effectively than silicon oxide coatings used in packaging now.
‘Nano Bricks' Packaging
Grunlan said the use of metallized plastics - or plastics with a thin covering of metal or foil - to preserve foods allows oxygen to enter the food packaging, which increases the rate at which the contents inside spoil.
Grunlan said research found that the ‘nano bricks' packaging coating was 100 times less permeable than normal packaging. Using the film on plastic bottles helps slow the loss of carbon dioxide, Grunlan said, helping sodas and other fizzy drinks stay bubbly for longer.
Grunlan said potential development areas for the ‘nano bricks' packaging could be to extend the shelf life of portable foods for the armed forces. He also said he hopes to develop it to block sunlight and claimed that it could also be used in electronics, sporting goods and even tires.
Recently Added News
Radical LiquiForm system could revolutionise liquid packaging, simplifying the process and introducing energy and financial savings to boot
Grocery Manufacturers Association and others challenge US state's pioneering GM food labels law, claiming consumers will suffer in the long run.
With some 160,000 tonnes of flexible laminate packaging-based products sold each year in the UK, effective recycling strategies are now being explored
Extremely successful on its 2013 debut, Coca-Cola Enterprises' (CCE's) 'Share a Coke' campaign is being re-launched - its personalised bottles set to soon arriv...