Developing a sustainable and edible packaging material

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global compass to make the world a better place. Sustainable production and consumption patterns is one of the areas of focus and is also of national and regional importance for the Netherlands. For example, the Netherlands has formulated the objective that by 2050 raw materials, products and processes in industry will be climate neutral and 80% circular (including Mission Industry). In this context, research is being conducted into how the packaging production and consumption chain can be made more efficient and sustainable, for example by applying alternative, innovative food packaging.

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This pilot study focuses on the development of a sustainable packaging material that is edible, a so-called ‘Fresh Layer’. This coating is applied directly to the surface of the food product as a protective layer. The development of this product is complex, because the product must be functional, biodegradable and edible. Both in theory and in practice, it is investigated which criteria with regard to functional applicability apply and which biopolymers, combined with which additives, meet these criteria. Based on a literature study, an overview is made of possible successful combinations that meet the packaging requirements of food. The polysaccharide alginate is used as the basis for this.

It is experimentally investigated which ratios of alginate with other polysaccharides in combination with plasticizers, such as glycerol, are suitable to extend the shelf life of hard fruit and to determine functional properties such as water permeability, tensile strength, firmness, odor and structure. An inventory is also made of usable raw materials from residual flows from the Agrofood and Aquaculture sector and their possible applicability within the scope of the food chain.

Who are we:
You work together with the Marine Biobased Specialties research group. This lectorate investigates the application of marine ingredients from, among other things, algae in the transition to a bio-circular economy. The lectorate has a strong connection with the Chemistry program and the Center of Expertise Biobased Economy.

Startdate: February 2022 – July 2022
Where: HZ University of Applied Sciences, Vlissingen
Info:
Tanja Moerdijk: tanjamoerdijk@hz.nl
Interested? Sent your motivation letter and CV!

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