Stemergy: Renewable Fibre Technology

Hemp and flax-based packaging for food industry

8 April 2013

The consortium for the European TRAYSRENEW project has presented the results of research into the development of a thermo-transformed tray, together with lid, for packaging poultry meat and based on a biodegradable composite material reinforced with natural hemp and flax fibres.

Traysrenew is a European project, aided by the 7th R+D Framework Programme of the European Union, developed over the past two years and led by the Alicante-based Termoformas del Levante company, within a consortium which also involves the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Consum, Gaviplas, Productos Florida, Rondol, Rodenburg Biopolímeros, Arctic Fiber, the ITENE centre and the Materials Technology Institute of the United Kingdom. The project has the support of the 7th European Union R+D+i Framework Programme.

This initiative, focused on the research into and the development of a solution for packaging of poultry meat products, focused on the creation of an innovative system of food packaging capable of substituting materials for conventional food containers based on non-renewable resources by a thermo-transformed tray and lid, employing for the research a biodegradable composite material reinforced with natural hemp and flax fibres.

The new materials enable enhancing the current properties of bioplastics through the development of a composite material which not only attains the properties of conventional materials, but in some cases actually improves them. For example, they have good barrier properties, being able to meet the conservation needs of meat products such as chicken under the same conditions as conventional materials made of non-renewable sources.

The new material and the container obtained therefrom also meet food quality and safety standards demanded for poultry meat products, a segment chosen as a sample for this research project given its potential growth. Its competitive price with respect to other meats and the strong preference by consumers will result in levels of production in the European Union reaching 12.5 million tons in 2020, according to long-term projections by the Commission.

The results of this project were presented at a conference held in the Technological Institute for Packaging, Transport and Logistics (ITENE). Amongst the principal results presented, the coordinating company of the project, Termoformas de Levante, and in concrete its Managing Director, David Mas, highlighted, “the positive data obtained for the packaging of poultry meat with this new system”, stating that “the trials undertaken with the new packaging complies with the expectations set out by the project consortium”.

Source: http://www.basqueresearch.com

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Stemergy bio-fiber is focused on producing and supplying renewable bio-fibres - derived from annual stem fiber plants such as flax and hemp - to the expanding global bio-fiber marketplace.