Research Article on the WHEYLAYER® as a sustainable packaging solution

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High demands are put on packaging material, especially in the food industry, in order to preserve the quality of the packed good throughout its lifecycle. Protection against oxygen is one determining factor that guarantees the maximum shelf life of food products.

The requirements of packaging material are specific to the type of food to be packed;materials need to fulfil different needs in terms of light, moisture, water vapour, and gas barriers. To achieve these requirements, expensive multilayer coextruded or laminated plastic films are widely used in the packaging industry in order to combine the respective technofunctional properties the polymers. These films oftenmake use of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH) to create a sufficient oxygen barrier. Polymers used for those applications are petroleum based and their combination. in various layers hampers recyclability as monomaterials of high purity are needed for reprocessing. Thus, research into sustainable packaging materials that maintain the performance of composite structures has recently intensified.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, the Barcelona-based Innovació i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible (IRIS) and the Department of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Materials Science of the University of Pisa joined efforts and published a research article on “Properties of Whey-Protein-Coated Films and Laminates as Novel Recyclable Food Packaging Materials with Excellent Barrier Properties“.

Barrier properties of whey-based layer versus other plastics commonly for packaging


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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