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CNR: Alamanacco della Scienza


N. 5 - 13 mar 2013
ISSN 2037-4801

International info   a cura di Cecilia Migali


Nanotechnologies for food packaging  

'Ecosustainable food packaging based on polymer nanomaterials' is the title of the volume edited by Clara Silvestre and Sossio Cimmino, researchers at Cnr-Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers (Ictp). The authors show that nanomaterials offer some benefits to the food industry, including better materials for food packaging and also safer foods on supermarket shelves that have lower incidences of contamination with chemical adulterants and potentially life-threatening microorganisms. Polymer nanotechnology, described as the next great frontier of material science in food packaging, with applications predicted to grow rapidly in the coming years, is currently developed to mainly improve barrier performance pertaining to gases, such as oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The book gives an overview of the complete life cycle of the packaging based on polymer nanomaterials by the contribution of several experts with the final aim to consider the balance between cost and performance, risk and benefit, the health and environmental.

According to the latest official data, the global market of food packaging is worth 440 billion dollars worldwide (about 2% of the Gross National product of the developed countries), with an annual increase of 10%. The food industry uses almost 65% of all packaging placed on the market and the impact of the packaging on the retail cost of food is between 19 and 50%. Almost 40% of the total packaging is made of plastic. The growth rate of the market of plastic packaging in the last few years for both flexible and rigid plastic packages has been about 7%, the highest compared with other materials (glass 2%, metal 6%, paper 6%, other including wood 3 %).

After a general introduction of the topic with a focus on current issues and future trends soon an 'ethical design' is introduced as a concept which puts into practice key ideas like the precautionary principle and presents a model of accountability, responsibility, and ethical consideration commensurate with the current understanding of all sorts of risks and hazards, whether they are known, unknown or unknowable. The book then dwells into science: two sections are dedicated to characterization of these novel materials investigating the evolution of the rheology and of the structure and morphology in dependence of processing conditions and kind of constituents. The interesting application of plasma technologies in the field of production of food packaging materials is illustrated in chapter 5. The main aspects of nanomaterials for food packaging from oil polymers (polyolefins) and from renewable resources polymers are reported in a sequence in order to better compare both kinds of materials. Some examples of degradation under natural weathering exposure and recycling are reported in the chapters 11 and 12. The final part is an overview about the rapidly evolving and expanding field of the usage of polymer nanocomposite materials for food packaging application.

Each section contains a complete list of references related to the topic.


Fonte: Clara Silvestre, Istituto di chimica e tecnologia dei polimeri, Pozzuoli, tel. 081/8675067, email clara.silvestre@ictp.cnr.it

Per saperne di più: - www.costfa0904.eu/cnr-ictp/news/8/Ecosustainable-Polymer-Nanomaterials-for-Food-Packaging-/