Smart food packaging: tackling food waste and safety
According to the European Commission’s Research and Innovation Centre, the EU-funded NANOPACK project has come up with a solution for extending food shelf life by using novel smart antimicrobial surfaces in food packaging. They will run test lines in industrial environments to manufacture commercially viable antimicrobial polymer films to assess their industrial and commercial applicability.
The project team were able to form tiny materials based on natural ‘halloysite nanotubes’ (HNTs), which act as safe carriers that can deliver small amounts of an EU-approved bioactive agent or oil to stop food from going bad or becoming mouldy. Due to their minuscule size, HNTs are unable to migrate from the food packaging into food itself, which makes them a safe and natural preservative.