Providing better fresh produce, bakery products and proteins, by producing packaging for extending their shelf-life and quality, is the core objective of the EU-funded NanoPack Project. The active packaging materials are now being tested with a wide range of products and are showing some remarkable results.
Fresh cherries, which were packed in NanoPack antimicrobial film, containing low concentration of various natural essential oils, exhibited an increased shelf life of 40%. The cherries were packed in bags made of NanoPack film and commercial film were stored at the same holding temperature for 14 days and then transferred to an ambient temperature for 4 days.
The results have shown that NanoPack film extends the shelf life of cherries by 2 days. Only 33 % of the cherries packaged in commercial film were saleable, compared to the 73 % using the NanoPack material.This two-day increase in shelf life corresponds to an added value of 40% increase in their saleability.
For bread and baked products, the results were even more dramatic, doubling the shelf life of some baked goods, without any preservatives added, in comparison to those packed in conventional plastics packaging.
“We are experimenting with a very wide range of products – fresh produce, breads and pastries, as well as dairy and meat proteins. This means we must identify the best concentrations and combinations of essential oils as well as the most appropriate packaging formats for each,” said a spokesperson from the NanoPack scientific team.
Feedback from several consumer studies, undertaken as part of the project, show considerable acceptance of the idea of extending shelf-life and maintaining quality through slowing down microbial growth, by using nanotechnologies.
18th April 2019
Published on line by Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association