Posted on March 16, 2020
This sustainable container, developed over two years by The Catalan Plastic Center of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain) and the researcher Farayde Fakhouri, is an alternative to plastics and comes from plant sources formed by natural compounds that offer different properties that, combined with other materials, allow the interaction of food with the atmosphere to be modified, protecting the food and extending its useful life.
With a budget of 10 million euros financed between ACCIÓN (i.e. ACTION — the agency for the competitiveness of the company under the Department of Business and Knowledge) and the European Commission, this initiative, framed in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions of the Horizon 2020 program, finances up to 100% the hiring of researchers with the aim of promoting R&D business and technology transfer in Catalonia.
According to Fakhouri, the project seeks to respond to the "great global food waste, which is estimated at 33% of total production and 45% of fruits, vegetables and vegetables, according to 2019 Stop Food Waste Day data". He also says that they have been able to establish that "the use of this material as a cover for strawberries has increased the shelf life, since it has increased the resistance of the fruit to fungi and has reduced its mass loss, all while preserving its original appearance for a longer time".
Currently, Dr. Fakhouri and the UPC Polyfunctional Polymeric Materials (Poly2) research group, led by Dr. José Ignacio Velasco, are finishing validating their first formulations in order to develop new prototypes of packaging materials. In addition, the project was selected to participate in the IESE Business School Barcelona Technology Transfer Group program, which ACCIÓN supports, with the aim of accelerating the transfer of the product in the market.