Anagrafe della ricerca

NOVAPACK - NOVel solutions based on natural resources for sustainable Antimicrobial food and biomedical PACKaging: a circular economy approach (NOVAPACK)

Durata:
24 mesi (2025)
Responsabile scientifico:
Tipo di progetto:
PNRR – Missione 4
Ente finanziatore:
MINISTERO (MINISTERO DELL'UNIVERSITA' E RICERCA)
Codice identificativo progetto:
P2022K7CWJ
Ruolo PoliTo:
Coordinatore

Abstract

The research proposal aims at designing and producing novel biopolymer systems containing functional extracts (namely, antimicrobial and antioxidant products derived from lactic acid fermentation of agricultural wastes and by-products) for disposable food and biomedical packaging applications, hence fulfilling the current circular economy concept. To this aim, antioxidant, antibacterial, and possibly biodegradable polymer systems will be designed and prepared either by melt compounding or by layer-by-layer deposition. In particular, the main target of the project is to provide a proof of concept of the suitability of the polyphenols, organic acids, and peptides recovered from selected lactic acid-fermented agricultural wastes and bio-products (namely, tomato peels and seeds, melons, and legumes) as efficient antimicrobial and antioxidant additives for the design of novel disposable packaging for food and biomedical purposes. To this aim, first, lactic acid bacteria strains will be identified among the University of Parma Culture Collection (UPCC) for carrying out lactic acid fermentation processes on the selected agri-food wastes/by-products. Then, an extract of the fermented biomass containing a mixture of key bioactive compounds will be obtained ìusing low environmental impact water/ethanol mixtures and finally freeze-dried. Sustainable bio-based polymers (namely poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate), polylactic acid, polybutylene adipate terephthalate, and bio-based low-density polyethylene) will be selected for preparing films by casting or blown film extrusion. The extracts will either be incorporated at different loadings using melt compounding processes into the films, or layer-by-layer coated on the same substrates. Then, both the bulk and the layer-by-layer treated films will be thoroughly characterized as far as their morphology, biodegradability, thermal, mechanical, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties are considered. In parallel, the layer-by-layer approach will be exploited for depositing antimicrobial and antioxidant assemblies on the aforementioned bio-based polymers processed as thin films. A schematic representation of the overall process is depicted in Figure 1. Figure 1: Flow chart of the NOVAPACK process, highlighting the main steps of the project with the related milestones (M) Specifically referring to the antimicrobial/antioxidant behavior, both in-vitro and in-situ tests will be carried out. Finally, a continuous pilot plant demonstrator of the layer-by-layer functionalization will be designed and simulated and a proof of concept will be provided. The project results will be disseminated in scientific, technical, and social contexts by means of gold open-access journals, workshops, social media, and fairs, to share the results with the whole packaging world.

Dipartimenti coinvolti

Parole chiave

Settori ERC

PE8_8 - Materials engineering (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, etc.)

Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile (Sustainable Development Goals)

Obiettivo 3. Assicurare la salute e il benessere per tutti e per tutte le età

Budget

Costo totale progetto: € 299.783,00
Contributo totale progetto: € 299.783,00
Costo totale PoliTo: € 53.740,00
Contributo PoliTo: € 53.740,00