The international ‘NanoPack’ consortium has been awarded €7.7m to develop and demonstrate a solution for extending food shelf life by using novel antimicrobial surfaces.
The three-year project aims to demonstrate, validate and test food packaging products with antimicrobial surfaces based upon natural materials.
NanoPack is led by Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Dr Ester Segal, NanoPack’s co-ordinator and associate professor at Technion, said: “NanoPack will demonstrate a solution for extending food shelf life by using novel smart antimicrobial surfaces, applied in active food packaging products.
“NanoPack will enhance food safety for consumers by significant growth inhibition of foodborne microbes, which in turn will prevent foodborne illness outbreaks and early spoilage.”
She added that the consortium would help reduce the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted each year.
Segal said: “We intend to present better performing, safer and smarter products that will position Europe as the leader in food nanotechnology and smart antimicrobial packaging while increasing competitiveness and growth.”
The active polymer films developed by NanoPack exhibit broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties unmet by existing state-of-the-art materials, which include currently used nanomaterials such as silver particles that have raised health concerns regarding toxicity and microbial resistance.
The project consortium is comprised of 18 partner organisations from Belgium, Austria, Norway, Spain, Israel, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
NanoPack will hold its opening conference at the facilities of Bio Base Europe (BBEU) in Ghent, Belgium, on 24-26 January.