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"Development of innovative renewable trays for poultry products, based on biopolymers and bast fibers" (TRAYSRENEW)
Start date: Jan 1, 2011, End date: Mar 31, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Poultry is considered by consumers as healthy, inexpensive and a nutritious source of protein. Poultry consumption will increase 9,4% by 2015 and the projected consumption and production would increase from 98 Mt in 2009 to 120 Mt in 2017. However, poultry is a highly perishable food and it gets spoiled between 4 up to 10 days. The demand to extend of shelf life has led the industry to develop specific packaging solutions, mostly based on non renewable resources.During last years the combination of limiting resources, high prices, and environmental concerns have switched the attention from synthetic to biodegradable polymers coming from a renewable source. Unfortunately, biodegradable polymers are usually more expensive than existing polymers such as PET, and their properties are not comparable to commercial materials. Therefore these materials have only a small percentage of the market where consumers are prepared to pay a higher price; thus, biodegradable packaging for poultry is not as exploited as it could be.The objective of TRAYSRENEW consortium is the development of a fully renewable thermoformed tray and lid for poultry products that offer a shelf life at chill temperatures of 10 days. The consortium has identified fibres from flax and hemp as a very interesting raw material for reinforcing new packaging materials. The use of cellulose fibres in composites has increased due to their cheapness, biorenewable character and because they can compete well in terms of strength per weight of material. They will provide an increase in raw material properties, obtaining fully renewable and biodegradable composites for the final packaging application.With the implementation of TRAYSRENEW project, SMEs participating will commercialise a new fully renewable packaging solution for poultry products, based on biopolymers (up to 85%), flax and hemp fibres (up to 15%), able to fulfil the properties required for the proper conservation of the poultry for 10 days."
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