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Development of innovative biodegradable packaging system to improve shelf life, quality and safety of high-value sensitive horticultural fresh produce (HORTIBIOPACK)
Start date: Nov 1, 2009, End date: Apr 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is increasingly used with minimally processed fresh produce. Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging (EMAP) of Fresh Produce is also increasingly used to extend shelf-life of fresh produce. Increased MAP and EMAP usage coupled with negative environmental views associated with nondegradable synthetic packaging materials creates a societal and SMEs need for biodegradable films. Several research efforts have been carried out and work is in progress aimed at developing biodegradable packaging materials for various applications, including food packaging. A limited portion of this research effort is dedicated to MAP packaging systems. The development of biodegradable films that are based on renewable raw materials and designed for EMAP systems for fresh produce, meeting the design criteria of water vapour and gas barrier properties, ensuring safety of the produce while maintaining the original quality, firmness and colour of the fresh produce is still at the very early stages of research and development. The proposed project aims at developing innovative and safe biodegradable Equilibrium Modified Atmosphere Packaging film systems based mainly on the use of environmental friendly biodegradable raw materials and aimed at the improvement of the shelf life, quality and safety of specific high value sensitive horticultural fresh produce.
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