Humidity regulating packaging for the protection of food and non-food products
The length of time food products stay fresh and can be kept is in many cases significantly determined by active humidity regulating packaging. Baked products in particular benefit from packaging materials that regulate the air humidity inside the packaging. Non-food products such as musical instruments and electronic devices and items such as historic paintings can also be protected by active humidity regulating packaging.
The objective of the HumidWRAP project is to develop customized concepts for regulating the humidity inside packaging systems based on paper and plastic.
Development of new, active packaging concepts
The starting point is to develop a mathematical model to describe moisture transport in packaging systems. The model will be used to simulate the change in relative humidity in the packaging during product storage. These simulations will then be used to tailor the properties of the packaging to the requirements of the product.
The experimental work involves the characterization of materials whose water vapor permeability changes depending on the humidity (modified cellulose, PVOH, EVOH, an polyamides) and testing the use of active humidity regulating components such as modified polysaccharides (e.g. sorbitol, xylitol), inorganic salts (e.g. NaCl, CaCl), and natural and synthetic silicates (bentonite, zeolites, molecular sieves).
Simplified packaging development for SMEs
The project will result in concepts for innovative packaging materials that can be used for active humidity regulating packaging systems. The project work involves extensive data acquisition, material tests, development tasks, programming a numerical simulation model, and case studies on selected food and non-food products.
The results of the HumidWRAP project will particularly benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that use packaging materials but have only limited R&D capabilities.