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05 Feb - "Development of active, smart and sustainable packaging", Lecture by Silvia E. Barbosa, Universidad Nacional Del Sur, Conicet e Plapiqui, Argentina

The visit of Silvia E. Barbosa is organised in collaboration with Maria Grazia De Angelis from the Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering.

Feb 05, 2019 from 05:30 PM to 07:30 PM

Where Sala Rossa, Palazzo Marchesini, via Marsala 26, Bologna (first floor)

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Conservation and shelf life enlargement of different products are current challenges that incentivize the innovation in the development of active and intelligent packaging.

This type of packaging had had a great development from the use of plastic films or modified paper board because of its versatility, good processability, recyclability and low cost. These features make the packaging sustainable.

Particularly, when the need arises to solve an specific actual problem that involves the development of a technology, the first step is the establishment of the frame of reference including, besides product requirements, actual market, packaging costs (products and both manufacturing and operative technologies), operational simplicity both in the manufacture of the film and in the construction of the container, different aspects of marketing (paintability, printability, sealing, etc.), productive sector involved (adaptability to automatic filling / pelletizing machines, associated costs, etc.), potential consumer acceptance, competitive advantages relative to current systems (savings, sustainability, practicality, etc.), between others. With this framework stablished, the initial restrictions the chances to achieve, from the academy, a development applicable are enhanced. However, it is not easy for academics to have all of this data, then joint developments with manufacturing companies of packaging is the key to obtain innovative and applicable developments in times compatible with the actual use thereof.

Using this approach, in our group we have developed different types of packaging based on plastic polyolefin films with customizing its properties. Different paths were chosen for problem solving: the inclusion of nanoparticles within a polymer (nanocomposites), nanoparticle surface modification, and/or a combination of both paths. To achieve the desired properties while maintaining sustainability, in each development a base study was carried out that involved the real relationship of the structure-properties-processing. The following developments will be presented: a) films for silo bag containing surface repellent and its technology of use, b) active, hermetic and intelligent system for the export of organic grains in containers that guarantees the traceability of the same by means of radiofrequency use, c) packaging systems for vegetables that allow them to be stored for five months without refrigeration, d) cardboard boxes repellent to fruit fly and anti-weevils, e) polyolefin hydrophilic, writable and erasable films (plastic paper), f) Anti-fungal films to extend the shelf life of cut fresh cheese and g) multifrequency wave screen films for packaging of electronic components.

The bases of each development will be discussed, analyzing the structure that gives rise to the set of desired properties, in conjunction with the processing operations that allow obtaining them in real manufacturing conditions.