Containers and packaging for the food industry
Development of formulas 100% biodegradable
The world trend is use materials from nature with the objective that these could return to the, without burden or impact, ecosystem. This line of research tries to develop matrices from theoretical and experimental studies using a diversity of biopolymers that accomplishes the above mentioned world trend, offering an alternative to oil based polymers.
The formulated polymers are analyzed, using the equipment available at the material analysis laboratory (LEMAT), for their physical-chemical properties
The research compiles two areas of application:
1) Coatings for fresh unprocessed or minimal processed produce
This area deals with edible biopolymers to be applied as coatings covering the surface of fresh or minimum processed fruits and vegetables to increase its shelf life. These biopolymers may have active agents added to its formulation to add barriers that allow to diminish evapotranspiration and microorganisms attack, as a result, help to prevent senescence and keep the produce quality. In the future, it is hoped to encapsulate natural compounds that aid to keep characteristics and quality of the foodstuff without affecting its organoleptic characteristics.
The formulated biopolymers has been successfully applied to golden berries, lulo, avocado, papaya, cocoa beans, as well as in gamma IV produce such as apples and banana.
2. Conformation of biodegradable and compostable matrices
This research area aims the study, development and characterization of materials that combined conform a matrix that processed can be machined applying the traditional technology used in the plastic industry, giving in this way a choice in vessel manufacturing. The used raw material accomplishes with the DIN CERTCO or VINCONTTE regulation, therefore, are compostable. Lately, residual biomass has been researched as possible raw material to avoid the usage of foodstuff. Remarkably, byproducts of the dairy industry, fruit export, cereals and brewery are giving promising results due to their mechanical and water vapor barrier properties. Pending, by now, the machining of the biodegradable pellets for vessel production.
The advances in this area would be very difficult without the support and collaboration the other universities (local and regional) and industry.
Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina Lima-Perú
Industria Convertidora de plásticos Grupo Sigmaplast S.A.- Quito
Laboratorio de ensayos metrológicos y de material LEMAT –Espol
Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico AIMPLAS Valencia-España
Sandra Acosta, PhD
Cell phone: 593-991872695