Improved Food Packaging

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Consortium of European technical institutes and technology firms has developed a nanocomposite coating process to improve food packaging. Designed to interact with food to reduce oxygen levels or add flavourings and preservatives, the Solplas aerosol assisted atmospheric plasma (AAAP) technique could put European companies ahead in the market for antimicrobial packaging materials.

Present barrier coating technologies on polymer films can be categorized as either atmospheric or vacuum based. In atmospheric techniques, application of a lacquer is followed by thermal, UV or electron beam irradiation post curing. Vacuum coatings can be made utilizing aluminium or for clear packaging, inorganic metal oxide (MeOx). Usually more specialized coatings are a combination of two. It is reported that nearly 50% of the coated polypropylene food packaging market was clear polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC). However, environmental concerns about PVdC have stimulated developments in other materials, such as multilayer combinations of lacquers and MeOx coatings, though these technologies are comparatively complex and expensive.


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