Polymer Library

Polymers in Food Packaging and Food Contact Materials - November 2017

This month's topic focus is the use of polymers in food packaging and food contact materials.

The main role of food packaging is to minimise the wastage of food throughout the supply chain; it must protect the food from damage, extend shelf life, and be easy to open, convenient, cheap and, increasingly, sustainable. Changes in consumers' shopping and eating habits are driving demand for resealable pouches and ovenable or microwaveable packaging for on-the-go consumption. Meanwhile, ongoing legislative measures are putting pressure on the industry to improve food safety and reduce environmental impact throughout the supply chain. With the Polymer Library you can keep up-to-date with emerging technologies and the latest legislative developments in the field of food contact polymers.

Why not read some of the latest literature in this area? There is a selection of abstracts from the Polymer Library on this subject below.

Abstracts

These abstracts were highlighted in the November Newsletter and found in the Polymer Library.

Click on the 7-digit accession numbers to find out about ordering a copyright-cleared full text copy of the items shown.

1265774 - Thin-film coated plastic wrap for food packaging (OPEN ACCESS - FREE ACCESS TO FULL TEXT)
In this study, the antimicrobial property and food package capability of polymethylpentene (PMP) substrate with silicon oxdie (SiOx) and organic silicon (SiCxHy) stacked layers deposited by an inductively coupled plasma chemical vapour deposition system were investigated. The experimental results show that the stacked pair number of SiOx/SiCxHy on PMP is limited to three pairs, beyond which the films will crack and cause package failure. The three-pair SiOx/SiCxHy on PMP shows a low water vapour transmission rate of 0.57 g/m2/day and a high water contact angle of 102 deg. Three-pair thin-film coated PMP demonstrates no microbe adhesion and exhibits antibacterial properties within 24 h. Food shelf life testing performed at 28 deg C and 80% humidity reports that the three-pair thin-film coated PMP can enhance the food shelf-life to 120 h. The results indicate that the silicon-based thin film may be a promising material for antibacterial food packaging applications to extend the shelf-life of food products. 18 Refs.
Materials, 10, No.7, July 2017, paper 821, pp.7, ISSN: 1996-1944, DOI: 10.3390/ma10070821
Wu H-Y; Liu T-X; Hsu C-H; Cho Y-S; Xu Z-J; Liao S-C; Zeng B-H; Jiang Y-L; Lien S-Y

1266616 - Linking morphology changes to barrier properties of polymeric packaging for microwave-assisted thermal sterilized food
It is a priority to develop polymeric packaging that can withstand microwave-assisted thermal sterilisation (MATS) and maintain the quality of low-acid foods during long-term storage. In this study, we explored changes in the morphology of pouch films with two multi-layer structures. The films are based on barrier layers of metal oxide-coated poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) (film A) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) (film B). A 8-oz model food in pouches was processed with MATS (F0 = 9.0 min) and stored at 23, 35 and 45 deg C for up to 12 months. Findings reveal that the oxygen barrier of film A was influenced by the coating and crystallinity of PET. The oxygen barrier of film B was primarily affected by the moisture content of the EVOH polymer. Results also show that changes in barrier properties depended on storage temperature. Recrystallisation in polymer might be an important morphological change that occurs during storages. (26 ref)
Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 134, No.44, 2017, paper 45481, pp.10, ISSN: 0021-8995, DOI: 10.1002/app.45481
Hongchao Zhang; Kanishka Bhunia; Nydia Munoz; Li Li; Michail Dolgovskij; Rasco B; Juming Tang; Sablani S S

1267180 - Meeting the thin wall challenge
Moulding of thin-wall sections, particularly for food packaging applications, requires high pressures and speeds as well as modified part-ejection and gating arrangements. Some of the latest developments, mainly driven by the key trends of sustainability, production and raw material costs, and functionality, are reported. The precise control of all-electric injection and injection-compression moulding machines is discussed and the growing demand for larger clamp capacities and improvements in the speed of injection are examined. Manufacture of disposable medical packaging under cleanroom conditions is described. StackTeck Systems TRIM (Thin Recess Injection Moulding) technology for ultra-lightweight packaging applied to single-serve applications is mentioned.
Injection World, Jan.-Feb. 2017, p.53/57, ISSN: 2052-9376
Holmes M

1267401 - Combination of poly(lactic) acid and starch for biodegradable food packaging (OPEN ACCESS - FREE ACCESS TO FULL TEXT)
The massive use of synthetic plastics, in particular in the food packaging area, has a great environmental impact, and alternative more ecologic materials are being required. Poly(lactic) acid (PLA) and starch have been extensively studied as potential replacements for non-degradable petrochemical polymers on the basis of their availability, adequate food contact properties and competitive cost. Nevertheless, both polymers exhibit some drawbacks for packaging uses and need to be adapted to the food packaging requirements. Starch, in particular, is very water sensitive and its film properties are heavily dependent on the moisture content, exhibiting relatively low mechanical resistance. PLA films are very brittle and offer low resistance to oxygen permeation. Their combination as blend or multilayer films could provide properties that are more adequate for packaging purposes on the basis of their complementary characteristics. The main characteristics of PLA and starch in terms of not only the barrier and mechanical properties of their films but also of their combinations, by using blending or multilayer strategies, have been analysed, identifying components or processes that favour the polymer compatibility and the good performance of the combined materials. The properties of some blends/combinations have been discussed in comparison with those of pure polymer films. 106 Refs.
Materials, 10, No.8, Aug. 2017, paper 952, pp.22, ISSN: 1996-1944, DOI: 10.3390/ma10080952
Muller J; Gonzalez-Martinez C; Chiralt A

1267451 - Affordable biobased food packaging
The cost of biobased plastics is a factor currently inhibiting the use of bioplastics in injection moulded food packaging applications. SFA Packaging and Wageningen Food and Biobased Research have embarked on a quest to determine whether commercially available biobased plastics could be made more suitable for this type of application. A public private research consortium has been established. The new project focuses on three innovations. The first involves the use of additives that improve the flow behaviour of biobased plastics. Secondly, the project partners will look into more sophisticated production procedures. The third focus point concerns the barrier requirements of the packaging. The final goal of the project is to develop profitably biobased plastic packaging with around half the CO2 emissions in material and production per unit as compared to conventional plastics.
Bioplastics Magazine, 12, No.4, July-Aug. 2017, p.7, ISSN: 1862-5258

1267803 - Mechanical and degradation behaviour of multilayer barrier films
The use of innovative flexible multilayer barrier films in the food packaging and the agricultural sectors is growing rapidly. A series of experimental PE-based multilayer films with barrier EVOH and PA layers, which simulate specific features of films used in the agrifood sector, was produced with different percentages of stabilisation. An experimental methodology was developed for the analysis of the mechanical behaviour of these specially designed multilayer films. The photodegradation behaviour of the multilayer films was investigated, by exposing them to controlled accelerated ageing. It was shown that the presence of a low ductility barrier layer, adversely affects both, the mechanical and the ageing behaviour of multi-layer films without stabilisation. Likewise, the stabilised multilayer films with barrier experience a shorter lifespan, than the multilayer stabilised PE films without barrier layers. The results suggest that the possible use of barrier layers in agricultural or food packaging mulitilayer film structures, should take into consideration the detrimental effect of these layers in their mechanical behaviour and durability. (33 ref)
Polymer Degradation and Stability, 143, Sept. 2017, p.214-230, ISSN: 0141-3910, DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2017.07.019
Demetres Briassoulis; Tserotas P; Miltiadis Hiskakis

1268288 - Cellulose nanocrystals from lignocellulosic raw materials, for oxygen barrier coatings on food packaging films
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are unique, renewable top-down nano particles from which coatings with improved gas barrier properties and new functionalities can be prepared. In this paper, the potential for obtaining such high performing nanocrystals from low-cost lignocellulosic by-products or raw materials is proved by a comparison study on CNCs obtained both from cotton linters and kraft pulp, by means of the ammonium persulphate (APS) process. Morphological and chemical characterisation of the nanocrystals obtained, as well as the main functional properties of the poly(ethylene terephthalate) coated films, showed quite similar characteristics and performances of CNCs obtained from pure cellulose raw material (cotton linters) and the nanoparticles produced from a potential discard of paper making processes (kraft pulp). In particular, the gas barrier properties of the coating produced with CNCs obtained from kraft pulp were very promising, providing oxygen and carbon dioxide permeability values hundreds of times lower than those of equal thickness in comparison with common barrier synthetic polymers, over a broad range of temperatures. The results obtained are relevant not only for the outstanding performances achieved, but also because they evoke a possible positive example of industrial symbiosis in the packaging field, merging together the requirements and needs of the paper and plastic industries and addressing the way towards a better management of waste and materials. (49 ref)
Packaging Technology and Science, 30, No.10, 2017, p.645-661, ISSN: 0894-3214, DOI: 10.1002/pts.2308
Rampazzo R; Derya Alkan; Gazzotti S; Ortenzi M A; Piva G; Piergiovanni L

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