Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Katja Heinze receives research award for intelligent food packaging with freshness indicator


Chemistry professor from Mainz University developed in a collaborative research project a novel foil packaging material that displays information on food freshness by means of color changes

The Mainz chemistry professor Katja Heinze and her Luxembourg cooperation partner Dr. Patrick Choquet have received the Interregional Research Award for the development of novel, intelligent foils for food packaging. This is the sixth time this award worth EUR 35,000 has been presented.

Prototype of an intelligent foil for food packaging in its original state

photo: Dr. Philip Heier / group of Prof. Katja Heinze

Its purpose is to promote collaboration in cross-border research projects and reinforce the profile of the interregional research landscape. "To offer capable partners the best conditions for cross-border cooperation – that is the main aim of our mutual cooperation strategy in the sector of higher education and research in the Greater Region.

The SURFAMINE research project that has been honored with the 2014 Interregional Research Award is an outstanding example of the potential that lies in cross-border cooperation," emphasized State Secretary Professor Thomas Deufel of the Ministry of Education, Science, Continuing Education, and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Working in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Choquet from the Centre de Recherche Public in Belvaux, Luxembourg on the SURFAMINE project, the work group of Professor Katja Heinze of the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has developed innovative foils for foodstuff packaging.

"In view of the series of food scandals that have occurred in recent years, there is an increased interest in monitoring food freshness and in food safety," Heinze explained the background to the research project. The aim of the three-year SURFAMINE project was to develop a form of food packaging that would display real-time information on the status of the packaged items.

The idea was to create an intelligent foil that would interact with the atmosphere within the package and display information about its composition by means of colorimetric signals in the form of a change of color from green to red, for example.

In order to achieve this challenging objective, a number of institutes and commercial partners joined forces. In addition to Professor Katja Heinze's group at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry of Mainz University, other project participants are the Department of Research and Material Analysis and the Department of Environmental and Agrarian Sciences of the Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann in Belvaux in Luxembourg, the Novelis Foil Innovation Center, also in Belvaux, and the ArcelorMittal Plasma Research Group in Liège in Belgium.

Working together in the SURFAMINE project, the teams have designed, synthesized, and employed novel dyes that are used to give the foils their color. These colors change on interaction with amines that are released when the packaged foodstuffs undergo bacterial decomposition and thus show how fresh the foodstuffs are.

In addition, a new and more environmentally-friendly coating process has been developed with which even large surfaces can be covered with the intelligent materials. The multinational cooperation project was financed by the Luxembourg Fonds National de la Recherche.

The Interregional Research Award is given to research networks that have at least a bilateral and preferably multilateral cross-border orientation in the Greater Region where France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Germany meet. The project must be of cross-border interest in the Greater Region and the award is intended to pay tribute to new projects that strengthen public awareness and the attractiveness of the Greater Region.

urther information:
Professor Dr. Katja Heinze
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-25886
fax +49 6131 39-27277

Weitere Informationen:  - press release ;  - Group of Prof. Heinze at Mainz University

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Innovation Award of the United Nations Environment Programme for PhD Student from ZMT
22.03.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenforschung (ZMT)

nachricht ERC Project set to boost application of adhesive structures
19.03.2018 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>