Xylophane AB, developer of a renewable Xylan-based packaging material that extends the shelf life of sensitive food products, is planning to have a pilot factory running by early October 2009. This will enable production of material for pilot projects for potential customers as well as the optimisation of Xylophane’s manufacturing process for future full-scale production.
For the funding of the facility, the company has raised 34 MSEK (approx. 3.2 Mio. €) in a special issue of new shares. Two new joint owners, SEB Venture Capital and Capricorn Cleantech fund, have also joined the ownership group. The capital ensures the expansion and operation of the company’s pilot factory. The capital contribution guarantees the expansion and operation of the pilot factory and company for three years.
Xylophane’s material has qualities that offer major environmental advantages and cost savings. The need for cost-efficient barrier material and production techniques has increased in recent years within the packaging industry, due to factors such as the rising price of raw materials currently used in barrier packaging (i.e. oil and aluminium). Another advantage with Xylophane is that its technology does not demand complicated building alterations for producers with modern manufacturing facilities.
Xylophane – the material
Xylophane consists of the natural carbohydrate xylan and additives that are approved for food contact to taylor-make properties for different application areas. Xylan is one of the most abundant carbohydrates in nature, but despite of this fact is not used in industrial applications. Xylan can be isolated from by-products from agriculture, such as hulls and husks from cereals. The chemical structure varies depending on the origin, but all xylans contain a backbone of ß-(1-4)-linked xylose units.
The material is based on natural raw material and is renewable and biodegradable. It is an efficient barrier against oxygen, grease and aroma and can thus prolong the shelf life of sensitive food stuffs or be a sustainable alternative to the barrier materials at the market today. Since the raw material is water soluble, the product can be coated onto for example paper, board or plastics without using other solvents. Migration tests show that Xylophane can be used in contact with greasy and dry food stuffs.
The process used to apply a layer of Xylophane in the multi-layer packaging structure is dispersion coating. Xylophane in powder form is dissolved in water and coated onto the substrate using roll, rod or blade. The coating is dried with warm air or IR. Xylophane can be combined with other packaging materials such as paper, paperboard or plastics.
Håkan Grubb, Managing Director
Stena Center 1D
412 92 Göteborg
Tel.: 0046-730-88 11 98
Source: Xylophane AB, 2009-01.