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DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11F015 UCC (QUB) €444,493

Project Title:

Smart packaging systems containing novel optochemical O2 and CO2 sensors for the food industry

Project Coordinator:

Prof. Dmitri Papkovsky

Project Abstract

Development of a new generation of smart packaging materials with built-in optochemical sensors for O2 and CO2 is proposed, which will allow non-destructive control, traceability, quality and safety assurance of packaged foods. Colourimetric CO2 sensors comprising extrudable intelligent plastics as well O2 sensors based on extrudable polymeric microparticles and nanostructured polymeric fibres impregnated with the phosphorescent dyes will be designed, optimised and characterised. Subsequently, these smart plastics will be integrated in state of the art packaging materials, including sustainable and biodegradable polymers, to produce advanced multi-functional packaging materials with smart features in the form of packaging films, laminates and product enclosures. These prototype smart packaging materials will be investigated in detail with respect to their sensing and packaging characteristics, stability and safety. These smart sensors and packaging materials will be tested in trials with different types of meat samples and packaging conditions currently used by the industry (MAP). Operational performance of these packaging systems will be assessed, headspace O2 and CO2 levels in individual packs monitored non-destructively and correlated with shelf life and quality of packaged products and processes. These studies will provide demonstration, optimisation and initial validation of the new smart packaging materials and systems and prepare them for up-scaling and rapid commercialisation.

Final Report:

Final Report 11F015 (pdf 363Kb)