The bioplastic developed by Bio-on will be at the centre of a new European project that, thanks to a budget of almost 4 million Euro, aims to create new sustainable and biodegradable food packaging materials in the coming years.
The project BioBarr (New bio-based food packaging materials with enhanced barrier properties) has received funding of €. 3.784.375 from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 745586 and it will start on 1st June 2017.
BioBarr, which received an excellent evaluation from independent science experts at the European Commission, will be coordinated by TecnoalimentiS.C.p.A. over its estimated 4-year duration and will involve 7 prestigious European partners, public and private, from Italy, Spain, Denmark and Finland.
The researchers’ objects are as follows: to develop new bio-based and biodegradable food packaging materials, to improve and strengthen their barrier functionalities and to validate their application in real working environments inside the food industry. The ambitious research and development project will focus on PHAs biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates) produced using Bio-on technology which, thanks to their high thermo-mechanical and rheological performance, ductility and aesthetic characteristics, are unmatched in the biopolymers market.
“We are extremely proud to take part in the BioBarr project, to be an active part in this varied team of complementary researchers and companies,” explains Bio-on Chairman and CEO Marco Astorri, “it will allow us to study and increase the potential of our bioplastic in the food packaging sector for new solutions in the wider consumer sectors.”
Bio-on, listed on the AIM segment of BorsaItaliana, is the project’s main scientific partner and will make use of a European contribution of Euro 800,000 to carry out the production, development and demonstration of PHAs film to be adapted to the project’s objectives. Bio-on will also work on setting up a complete study of the product lifecycle according to modern LCA principles.
The PHAs bioplastics developed by Bio-on are made from renewable plant sources with no competition with food supply chains. They guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties as conventional plastics with the advantage of being 100% eco-sustainable and naturally biodegradable at ambient temperature. This is why Bio-on’s PHAs bioplastics have been shown to have extremely high potential as a replacement for the conventional polymers currently used in food packaging. To increase its adoption in this market sector, the BioBarr Project will focus on the implementations of PHAs’ capacity to protect the food (barrier properties) through the validation of a series of food products with different shelf-lives.
“Food products generate a lot of waste plastic packaging. The idea behind this project is to meet the demands expressed by the food industry to offer the market food products with a long shelf-life combined with environmentally-friendly packaging solutions,” says Raffaello Prugger, CEO of Tecnoalimenti.
Bio-On S.p.A., an Italian Intellectual Property Company (IPC), operates in the bioplastic sector conducting applied research and development of modern bio-fermentation technologies in the field of eco-sustainable and completely naturally biodegradable materials. In particular, Bio-On develops industrial applications through the creation of product characterisations, components and plastic items. Since February 2015, Bio-On S.p.A. has also been operating in the development of natural and sustainable chemicals for the future. Bio-On has developed an exclusive process for the production of a family of polymers called PHAs (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from agricultural waste (including molasses and sugar cane and sugar beet syrups). The bioplastic produced in this way is able to replace the main families of traditional plastics in terms of performance, thermo-mechanical properties and versatility. Bio-On PHAs is a bioplastic that can be classified as 100% natural and completely biodegradable: this has been certified by Vincotte and by USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The Issuer’s strategy envisages the marketing of licenses for PHAs production and related ancillary services, the development of R&D (also through new collaborations with universities, research centres and industrial partners), as well as the realisation of industrial plants designed by Bio-On.
About TECNOALIMENTI S.C.p.A.
Tecnoalimenti is a Scientific and Technological Research Organism set up as a non-profit making consortium, that inspires, coordinates and creates research and innovation projects of industrial interest to the agri-food sector. Founded in 1981, it incorporates 28 of the most innovative agri-food enterprises in Italy, and the MIUR (Italian Ministry for Instruction, University and Research).
Over its 35 years, it has launched over 250 successful research projects. Tecnoalimenti is a leading promoter and creator of scientific and technological research initiatives, with a strong market focus thanks to the industrial credentials of its partners. Tecnoalimenti represents a unique innovation ecosystem in Italy, whose main focus is to explore solutions and technologies in other sectors in order to co-innovate products and processes by involving product and technology companies.
Project: New bio-based food packaging materials with enhanced barrier properties
Grant Agreement N°: 745586
Topic: BBI 2016.R5 – Advanced biomaterials for smart food packaging
EU Contribution: €3,784,375
Duration: 48 months
Start date: 1 May / June 2017
Project Coordinator: Dr Marianna Faraldi – Tecnoalimenti
- BIO-ON S.p.A. (Italy)
- CHIMIGRAF IBERICA S.L. (Spain)
Centro Nacional de Tecnologia y Seguridad Alimentaria (CNTA) – Laboratorio de Ebro (Spain)
- DANMARK TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET (Denmark)
- ICIMENDUE SRL (Italia)
- TTY-SAATIO – Tampere University of Technology (Finland)