BIOACTIVELAYER new packaging concept provides an active, cost-effective and fully biodegradable solution to the dried food industry. The tailor–made material maintains product quality and assurance food safety, providing a shelf-life of up to 24 months. Check the main results of the project.

Dried baby food is particularly susceptible to oxidative rancidity, so it is required to have specific packaging requirements such as apply Modified Atmosphere Packaging technology (MAP), and also the residual O2 levels should be below 0.2%. These foods are usually packaged either on can or in laminated flexible packaging. Considering laminated flexible packaging, BIOACTIVELAYER project’s target has been focus on the developing of high biodegradable barrier pouches.

BIOACTIVELAYER pouches consist in a biodegradable multilayer structure with the required barrier properties for dry food products and also modified atmosphere packaging. This development could replace commonly structures based on petroleum based materials (non-renewable source) and aluminium.

In addition, BIOACTIVELAYER development will enhance consumer acceptance of packaged products through its renewable origin and reduced environmental impact, as it was demonstrated during the Consumer Panel performed during the project.

Project's review

During first stages of the project a detailed development of the different materials forming each layer of the multilayer structure has been made. It means it has been developed specific coated materials to improve paper properties, specific composites materials to obtain oxygen and moisture barrier structures and an active compound was included in the final composition to remove the residual oxygen during the packaged and thus helping to extend the baby dried food shelf-life.

Once each material was developed separately by improving its properties to achieve the best performance of each layer, the best solutions have been selected to be integrated into a multilayer structure. Several prototypes have been performed at lab and pilot scale and once the complex structure was defined and optimized, all involved process, such as extrusion or lamination, have been up-scaled.

Final biodegradable packaging has been subjected to food assessment and biodegradability studies. Also, it has extensively evaluated the shelf-life of the product that was packed using the developed packaging materials. In addition, a detailed characterization of the final materials was carried out, as well as a study on the retailer and consumer acceptance of these new sustainable packaging solutions.

The BioActiveLayer consortium commenced their work on 1st September 2013. The partners involved were A. Hatzopoulos S.A. (Flexible Packaging), Nuevas Tecnicas de Coloracion SL (Chemical Compounding), Skymark Packaging International Limited (Packaging Films), Belourthe S.A. (Producer of Baby Food Cereals), Plusfresc (Spanish Supermarket Chain), Instituto Tecnologico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logistica, Wageningen University and the UK Materials Research Institute.