Whey-based thermoformable barrier coating under development


As far as growth is concerned, the packaging industry has nothing to worry about. Sustainability, however, is another story. And while the need for greener packaging represents a significant market opportunity, solutions that deliver the requisite performance at a competitive price are still thin on the ground.

A dominant technology in the packaging market is thermoforming, yet although, for example, bio-based trays have been around for a number of years, in general, they fail to meet the barrier properties required for sensitive food products.

Now, research institute IRIS, located in Barcelona, Spain, has announced the kick-off of a new European research project aimed at addressing this problem. Called ThermoWhey, the focus is to develop a new bio-based thermoformable barrier coating solution that can be used throughout the breadth of the packaging sector. This 28-month R&D project, which is funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme (under the Manunet programme), will deliver a whey protein coating with improved thermoformability even after storage, while maintaining excellent barrier properties.
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