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The project



Expected results

The objectives of the project are:

To obtain raw materials and products with a competitive price compared to existing solutions.

With the aim of reducing bioplastic processing costs, industrial food by-products will be used as carbon sources for producing PHB. In this sense, to decrease PHB processing costs, cheaper culture medium such as wastewater from fruit juice industries will be used. PHB production will be enhanced establishing optimal fermentation strategies, optimising PHB bioproduction at pilot plant scale.

To overcome some current technical limitations through functionalisation.

Fruit juices have, as spoilage factors, oxidative reactions with vitamin losses and they need packages that withstand distribution loads and thermal treatments. To avoid this, PHB material will be functionalised with antioxidants through microencapsulation that will allow preserving thermo sensitive ingredients during polymer transformation.

The new PHBOTTLE material will be developed to be processed by conventional industrial equipments; the use of cellulosic fibres materials will help to maintain processing windows and printability compared to conventional polymers.

To improve packaging sustainability.

Environmental impact will be reduced through the use of non-petroleum based materials, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse emissions. Besides, packaging residues valorisation will be improved studying the reuse, recyclability, biodegradability and compostability of the new PHBOTTLE material.

Biodegradable packaging materials will be given to European consumers, which guarantee stability, safety and quality of the food packaged product during their shelf-life.

To develop a useful material for applications beyond juice packaging.

The new PHB developed material will be suitable for other kinds of food and for other industries or markets for non-food applications (i.e. pharmaceutical, cosmetics) and for non-packaging applications like automotive sector.

To promote an active participation of industrial partners as capital added value.

The collaboration between RTDs and industries will facilitate reinforcing the packaging industries by means of new materials development. The European competitiveness among biodegradable polymeric materials manufacturers will be improved. New opportunities of collaboration between centres and companies from Europe and Latin American countries will appear.

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº 280831.