Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Light-protection for food packaging

01.02.2002


Oxygen and light can alter the taste of foodstuffs. Manufacturers of packaging materials therefore try to protect contents from their influence. The latest approach is to use natural dyes in transparent plastic wrappers that selectively filter light.



Light and oxygen adversely affect the quality of most foodstuffs. In combination they cause various ingredients to undergo photo-oxidation. Fatty food substances become rancid and milk products develop an unpleasant "light-induced" taste. Certain ingredients such as the plant pigment chlorophyll or riboflavin (vitamin B2), exacerbate the loss of product quality due to their catalytic effect: they absorb light and transfer this energy to the oxygen, making it more reactive.

Manufacturers of food packaging are tackling these processes with two strategies: they either exclude oxygen by sealing packaging with nitrogen or they prevent exposure to light. The disadvantage of the first method is that the plastic must have a special sealing layer to prevent atmospheric oxygen permeating into the packaging. With the second method, the contents are only partially or not visible. But being able to see through the packaging is frequently desired for product presentation to customers.


At the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, researchers have adopted a new approach: they dye transparent plastic films with the very substances that are catalysts for photo-oxidation. In this way, packaging material remains almost transparent yet they filter out light in the critical wavelength ranges. One product that exemplifies this is olive oil: "Cold-pressed olive oils of superior quality are dark because they contain large quanities of chlorophyll. This tone is what the customer wants to see", says Dr. Gertraud Goldhan, director of the Functional Films business field at the IVV. "Dying plastic bottles green using chlorophyll not only serves to emphasize this olive-green tone - the oil can also be stored for a considerably longer period of time under exposure to light."

Using chlorophyll, the institut`s scientists have already been able to dye a whole range of different plastic materials used for packaging foodstuffs. To do this they employ a wide range of techniques: depending on the type and thickness of the film and the desired intensity of color, the chlorophyll is either added to the raw plastic prior to processing or it is applied to the prepared film as a coating. In multi-layered composite films it is incorporated into the laminating adhesives. There are also plans to develop printing inks containing the natural pigments. "Every product requires its own customized packaging", summarizes Goldhahn. "With the experience gained, we are now much more oriented towards industrial manufacturers."

Dr. Johannes Ehrlenspiel | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft - Presse

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump
14.11.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Automated adhesive film placement and stringer integration for aircraft manufacture
15.11.2018 | Fraunhofer IFAM

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Putting food-safety detection in the hands of consumers

15.11.2018 | Information Technology

Insect Antibiotic Provides New Way to Eliminate Bacteria

15.11.2018 | Life Sciences

New findings help to better calculate the oceans’ contribution to climate regulation

15.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>