The objective of WG1 is to identify the technical limits to and opportunities for the development of active and intelligent fibre-based packaging. WG1 will focus on sustainable solutions based on fibres and biopolymers that can extend shelf-life and add value to the product. Antimicrobials, stimuli responsive systems, RFID and anti-counterfeiting devices, printed intelligence, indicators and sensors will be considered within this WG in order to understand the potential of present and future technologies. In particular the problems of inclusion of such systems or devices in fibre-based packaging will be studied, considering different strategies ranging from direct inclusion, through chemical or physical techniques, from development of coatings or multilayer structures to printing and to the addition of modified filler to obtain active nanocomposites. Due to the very diverse expertise involved in the different techniques considered, an interdisciplinary approach and a strong interaction among researchers from different areas is foreseen, allowing for a thorough analysis of the different envisaged solutions. While fibre-based material will be the main focus of the Action, also the use of biopolymers alone or in combination with fibres will be considered in order to cover all possible pathways towards the development of sustainable smart packaging solutions.
Working group leader
Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Life Sciences and Facility Management
Methods and means
WG1 will start considering smart fibre-based packaging solutions present on the market or studied at lab scale and existing legislation related to this topic will be reviewed. Information will be collected not only through literature search and patent analysis but also through the organisation of a seminar and workshop. The results of these activities will be grouped and ordered in order to create an overview to be discussed in expert panels to define the most promising technologies and the technological evolution needed for their successful development. Based on this research into solutions and technologies, innovation and pilot trial tests are key to identify the most promising active and intelligent fibre-based solutions. In the end, this WG targets TRL 4 to 8.
The main outcome of the WG1 activity will be an overview of the present research in different areas of active and intelligent fibre-based packaging as well as the main achievements of the partners. These results will be made available to experts all over the world through the Action website and presented in different review papers giving an up-to-date report of the research in the different areas of active and intelligent fibre-based packaging. Guidelines for future research and development will also be produced focusing on major technical challenges to overcome for the successful exploitation of smart packaging solutions.