Call FP7-KBBE-2011-5
Topic of the work programme FP7 KBBE-2011-2-3-03  - Advanced and flexible technologies for sustainable and functional food packaging
Description of the topic (extracted from the work programme)

Food packaging plays a crucial role in preserving the quality and safety of food during distribution and storage from farm to fork, but contributes to the generation of waste. The European food packaging industry needs sustainable food packaging materials in combination with flexible packaging technologies to stay competitive on the global market. The new functional (active and intelligent), sustainable and consumer-oriented solutions have to ensure the safety and quality of food, reduce food losses, and reduce the environmental impact of food packaging. The industrial applicability of the research has to be demonstrated together with a positive impact on the environment via a Life Cycle Assessment of the whole value chain carried out according to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook.

Expected impact:
The main expected impact is the use of active, intelligent and sustainable packaging materials and flexible packaging technologies by the food industry. The results of research in this topic should clearly be of interest and potential benefit to SMEs. A strong participation of SMEs in the project itself should help contribute to the realisation of that benefit. The European added value lies in the combination of lower environmental impact and improved competitiveness of European packaging and food industries, including SMEs. The project will answer consumer demands regarding food safety and environmental issues.

Project officer Urbano Tocci (DG Research and Innovation)
Number of partners 18 organisations
Duration 3 years from January 2012 to December 2014
Project summary SUCCIPACK aims to support European industry efforts to introduce biobased polybutylene succinate (PBS) as a new material on the food packaging market.
Its main advantage is that it has complementary properties compared to other biobased polymers like polylactic acid. PBS is synthesized by polycondensation of succinic acid and butanediol, both identified as key “building blocks” from renewable resources which will be produced on a large scale in the coming years.

The aim of SUCCIPACK is to develop sustainable, active, and intelligent food packaging materials based on green PBS that can be flexibly used by packaging and food industries. A first aspect is the optimization of the synthesis and compounding of polymer and copolymer grades for industrial plastic transformation processes to obtain films, trays and pouches. Tailored packaging functionalities will be obtained by flexible in-line surface treatments to control gas barrier properties and to introduce antimicrobial activity.

The performance and safety of the novel packaging materials will be assessed for selected food products, representative of different food categories and preservation technologies. Special efforts will be put to explore PBS recycling routes, including chemical recycling by monomerization. An original intelligent labeling function will be added to monitor material degradation and recondensation, during shelf life and recycling. Life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCC) will be applied to guide the material development and to assess the sustainability of the whole packaging concept.

SUCCIPACK will help European industry, especially SMEs, to strengthen their competitive advantage over the currently fast growing green PBS developments in the US and Asia. The cooperation between 7 research organizations, 1 large industrial player and 10 SMEs will facilitate an effective uptake of the results by the food and packaging industry.

Contact ACTIA
16, rue Claude Bernard
75231 Paris Cedex 05
Tel: (+33) 01 44 08 86 20
Fax: (+33) 01 44 08 86 21
Mail Contact: Christophe Cotillon

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No.289196
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