Food packaging materials with O2/CO2 selective permeability – SELECTPERM

Fruit varieties, vegetable varieties and Camembert on a blue background, in the middle is a film with selective O2/CO2 permeability
Breathable foods can be made more durable in the future through innovative packaging materials

Nowadays, micro-perforated and nano-perforated plastic films are used for food packaging, as are materials with high barrier properties for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) systems. None of these materials is optimized for products that need to breathe such as vegetables, fruit, and certain cheeses. The perforated materials do not permit selectivity or control of the gas exchange, while the MAP systems with high barrier materials are modified by the respiratory activity of the produce, so bringing a risk of anoxia of the foodstuff.

This project aims to develop a packaging material for fresh produce with O2/CO2 selective permeability. The project is focusing on products such as freshly cut fruit and vegetables and “camembert type” cheese and aims to improve the shelf-life by regulating the gas exchange and therefore the oxygen and carbon dioxide permeabilities of the packaging materials. The Fraunhofer IVV is developing a database and simulation-framework. Optimized packaging solutions can be designed and evaluated for their suitability for a given product. A broad range of fresh product respiration rates is being considered. Various packaging materials (binary and ternary polymer blends, biopolymers, and polymer-fiber composites) are being characterized at the Fraunhofer IVV for their permselective properties.

The materials being used in the project are biobased and/or recyclable: paper coated with a perm-selective film and materials made entirely of polymers (multilayer and compounds).

The project will be divided into 3 phases:

  • Determination and modeling of the needs of the products with respect to gas exchange.
  • Development and validation of packaging materials with selective permeability.
  • Economic study.

The partners in the project are:

  •  PTS (Papiertechnische Stiftung, Germany) – Coordinator
  • CBIMO (Center of Bioimmobilisation and Innovative Packaging Materials, Poland)
  • CELABOR (Wallonia)
  • CERTECH (Centre of Technological Resources in Chemistry, Wallonia)
  • Fraunhofer IVV (Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Germany)
  • Fraunhofer LBF (Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability, Germany)