Keynote Speech: Novel nanomaterials promise to food packaging

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Packaging valuable part of food value chain. Continuous development in populations require us focus on food availability and its quality. World population has recently increased to level of 7.3 billion and is growing. Simultaneously demographic changes and life-styles in the industrial countries are creating new customer needs. The growing consumption markets have not reduced importance of the food sector, but when global economics and logistics enables both widening the offering and balancing the availability anywhere, we need efficient and sustainable packaging solutions. Efficiency has been always the major requirements for packaging, which comes often to issues on minimum use of material. Beyond that, we should see packaging as a part of delivery chain, where it should support agile and energy efficient logistics. Even further it is vitally important to reduce losses in the delivery chain like in transportation or homes, and provide light handling robust solutions and packaging sizes fitting together with modern family structures. Sustainability in packaging is typically seen nearly equivalent to waste management problems from littering to filling the damping sites. Reduction of waste combustion has been understandable, but more recently energy recovery has opened the discussion again. Biodegradability has been seen solution especially for oceanization and earth plastic waste loading, but simultaneously is promoted disposables. Generally recyclability has become a markedly pronounced and requirements to enable recyclability with natural and bio-based materials. Increasing society and consumer requirement of sustainable packaging has been understood among retailers and brand-owners. The limitations of natural and bio-based materials are typically in their barrier properties and weight, and they fail in several applications competition with fossil materials, as an example flexible and liquid packaging. Emerging nanotechnologies combined with polymeric materials in fiber and bio-plastic packaging is promising several answers linking nanostructures and macroscopic properties. Nanotechnologies based on synthesis, production of matrix, nanoparticles and -devices as well surface functionalization and chemical treatments of nanoparticles provide especially but not limiting on lighter constructions and higher barriers. Clearly can be seen, that enabling nano- and polymer technologies in packaging provide marked potential to improve both efficiency and sustainability, where also nano-safety is focused while developing the novel materials. With the novel technologies we are answering the challenges of food value chain on 21st century.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNovel nanostructured polymeric materials for food packaging and beyond
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Workshop: Book of Abstracts
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7605-0
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7604-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    EventNovel nanostructured polymeric materials for foodpackaging and beyond: International Workshop - Espoo, Finland
    Duration: 15 Sept 201116 Sept 2011

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Symposium


    WorkshopNovel nanostructured polymeric materials for foodpackaging and beyond


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