Bioactive packaging is showing high growth due to rising awareness of ecology and food safety of fresh and minimally processed foods. In addition to the risk of disease transmission and food spoilage, modern market globalization is inevitably linked to longer transport routes and times, therefore food must remain strictly in accordance with strict health legislation with respect to the presence of micro-organisms and chemical pollutants.
Food safety and quality can be improved by antimicrobial and antioxidative packaging systems nanofunctionalized with natural bio active agents. Such packaging systems have high market opportunities, but they are mainly still in the research phase and not ready yet for commercialization. The objective of this incredible invention is development of novel bioactive formulation used as a coating for food packaging materials with advanced properties such as:
- safety assurance,
- quality maintenance and
- shelf life extention.
Slovenian researchers developed an innovative method for synthesizing impermeable food packaging foil and device. The superior properties of the foils are achieved by pretreatment of said foils with atomic oxygen and subsequent deposition of coatings with a thin film of chitosan and a macromolecular film containing a network of polyphenol, catechin or pomegranate extracts and others as effective substances and chitosan nanoparticles. The foils produced according to the methods of invention exhibit over 90% reduction of Staphylococcus aureus as compared to untreated foils, reduction of oxygen permeability for over 90% and increase of antioxidant activity for over a factor 10. The method is useful in different application where such properties of foils are desired. Exemplary usage is for packaging of food such as meat, vegetables, dairy and bakery products.
Safe and effective packaging and its development are therefore essential in this area. There are many new scientific findings in the field of bioactive packaging development, but very few marketable products. The increasing health awareness of people and the environmental burden of waste materials dictate the rapid development of modern, people-friendly and environmentally friendly packaging. The improved food safety and quality in this invention is also provided by antimicrobial / antioxidant bioactive packaging components. Such systems have a tremendous potential for commercialization. The invention can be used for packaging different items such as meat, vegetables, dairy, bakery products and also medical, pharmaceutical and even textile items.
Researchers are looking for a reliable partner active in the fields of food, agricultural, medical and pharmaceutical industry specialized on producing plastic packaging material to implement the method and the usage of the device under license agreement in EU and beyond.