Slovenian Plasttechnics Cluster (PCS) presented the WHEYLAYER2 project at the 10th edition of the “PLAGKEM” fair, held in Celje, Slovenia from 16th to 19th April 2013. This is an international fair of plastics, rubber and chemistry. It was visited by more than 10 thousand visitors, who came also from countries of Southern Balkans and the European Union. Most visitors were from professional area and they were satisfied with the event. Other 50 exhibitors from several European countries presented their technologies and products.
Exhibition programme included:
- synthetic masses; semi-manufactures and products, special multipurpose products; products reinforced with fibers and metals,
- crude rubber and rubber; semi-manufactures and products, special multipurpose products, products in combination with metals, products from foam rubber,
- chemistry; semi-manufactures and products in the chemical, pharmaceutical, para-pharmaceutical, food, leather, cellulose, metallurgical and energetic process industry,
- equipment and tools manufacturing, projecting, automatization and process monitoring and control in the production of synthetic masses, rubber, crude rubber and chemistry,
- production of synthetic masses, crude rubber and chemistry – reprocessing and recycling,
- ecology – clean environment in the production of synthetic masses, rubber, crude rubber and chemistry,
- smelting plants
Project WHEYLAYER2 (FP7 315743) that was presented with a brochure raised high interested among visitors, who expressed desire to check sample materials. Those visitors were advised to visit project’s web site for more details.
PCS presented on a booth their business activities and their running research and development projects with brochures, posters and sample products; as well as products of some of their industrial members.
French online magazine Industrie&Technologies talks about the Wheylayer2 project in an article aimed at highlighting the biopolymer-coating based on whey protein residue for the production of sustainable plastic films.
The article, by Ludovic Fery journalist, reads as follows:
Un procédé de fabrication de films utilisant un coproduit de l’industrie laitière est en cours d’industrialisation dans le cadre du projet de recherche européen Wheylayer II. Sa commercialisation est prévue pour début 2014.
Click here to read the full article (French)
On the 9th of April 2013, the Wheylayer2 project was presented at the University of Maribor by the project coordinator Urška Sušnik Pivk, from Lajovic Tuba company.
Students of Economics and Business attended this presentation about the Wheylayer2 Demonstration Activity project as the follow-on phase from the very successful Wheylayer project that developed a biopolymer-coating based on whey protein for plastic films, from November 2008 to October 2011.
Wheylayer2 is focused on finalizing the industrialization steps prior to the commercialization of the developed whey protein coating for plastic films that could replace currently used expensive synthetic oxygen barrier layers and greatly improve the packaging sustainability.
Tubica, Lajovic Tuba’s magazine, published an article about the Wheylayer2 Demonstration Activity project, which is the follow-on phase from the very successful - WHEYLAYER project that developed a biopolymer-coating based on whey protein for plastic films.
The article goes over the different activities held so far since August 2012, when the project kicked off.
Advances in Materials Science and Engineering. Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 496207, 10 pages
Processing and Validation of Whey-Protein-Coated Films and Laminates at Semi-Industrial Scale as Novel Recyclable Food Packaging Materials with Excellent Barrier Properties
1Innovació i Recerca Industrial i Sostenible (IRIS), Parc Mediterrani de la Tecnologia, Avenida Carl Friedrich Gauss No. 11, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
2Material Development Department, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Straße 35, 85354 Freising, Germany
3Chair of food packaging technology, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Steig 22, 85354 Freising, Germany
4Food Technology and Bioprocess Engineering, ttz Bremerhaven, Fischkai 1, 27572 Bremerhaven, Germany
5Department of Chemical Engineering, Industrial Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi No. 2, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Received 25 August 2012; Accepted 5 January 2013
Academic Editor: Wen-Hua Sun
Copyright © 2013 E. Bugnicourt et al. 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.
A biopolymer coating for plastic films was formulated based on whey protein, and its potential to replace current synthetic oxygen barrier layers used in food packaging such as ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH) was tested. The whey-coating application was performed at semi-industrial scale. High barrier to oxygen with transmission rate down to ranges of 1 cm3 (STP) m−2 d−1 bar−1 at 23ºC and 50% relative humidity (r.h.) but interesting humidity barrier down to ranges of 3 g m−2 d−1 (both normalized to 100 μm thickness) were reached, outperforming most existing biopolymers. Coated films were validated for storing various food products showing that the shelf life and sensory attributes were maintained similar to reference packaging films while complying with food safety regulations. The developed whey coating could be enzymatically removed within 2 hours and is therefore compatible with plastic recycling operations to allow multilayer films to become recyclable by separating the other combined layers. A life cycle assessment was performed showing a significant reduction in the environmental impact of the packaging thanks in particular to the possibility of recycling materials as opposed to incinerating those containing EVOH or polyamide (PA), but due to the use of biosourced raw materials.
Month-7 meeting of Wheylayer2 gathered together the project consortium in Meierei-Genossens eG (MLANG) partner’s facilities, in Langenhorn, Germany.
The two-day meeting took place on the 13th and 14th of February 2013. On the afternoon of the first day, all project attendees visited company’s farm and cheese-making factory.
MLANG will be involved in supplying whey protein for the Wheylayer packaging. They may also use the resulting packaging for packing the cheese and cream that they produce. Wheylayer2 project focuses on up-scaling the results obtained in the WHEYLAYER project.
Wheylayer2 consortium will hold next project meeting on the 13th and 14th of February 2013.
Meierei-Genossens eG will host this meeting, in its facilities in Langenhorn, Germany. A visit to its farm and cheese-making factory is included in the two-day meeting for the project participants.
On November 22nd, the Wheylayer2 project consortium came together in the Month-3 meeting, hosted by Fraunhofer, which is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization.
The EC starred biopolymer follows on with WHEYLAYER2 to up-scale its successful R&D results
A new sustainable packaging solution for food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries
17th September 2012.– The development of the new biopolymer based on whey protein, called WHEYLAYER®, keeps going. Under the WHEYLAYER 2 project, funded by the European Commission (Grant Agreement no. 315743) within its Demonstration Activity scheme, 10 partners from five EU countries are back to work for the follow-on phase of the very successful Wheylayer project that ended in October 2011.
Since the Wheylayer project very convincingly researched and developed a biopolymer-coating based on whey protein for plastic films able to replace currently used expensive synthetic oxygen barrier, the European Commission decided to bet further on the biopolymer solution to allow its introduction in packaging value chain. The 2-year WHEYLAYER 2 project, which officially started on August 1st, 2012, will focus on up-scaling the results obtained in the Wheylayer project, to prove their industrialization potential. It will focus on final packaging items such as films but also trays, blisters, tubes and cans, and additional packaging functionalities such as convertibility, printability, UV barrier. WHEYLAYER® will be evaluated as packaging solution for food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical.
The project consortium will get together on the 19th of September, 2012, for the WHEYLAYER 2 kick-off meeting at its project coordinator facilities, Lajovic Tuba Embalaza DOO (TUBA), Slovenia. TUBA will be supported technically by IRIS Research&Development which originated the project idea, and by the Slovenian Plast-technics Cluster (Slovenia) to ensure that the project results get widely disseminated. Other partners working in the project are Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung (Germany), ILIRIJA (Slovenia), the University of Pisa (Italy), Meierei-Genossens eG (Germany), Dunreidy Engineering (Ireland), NUTRARESEARCH SL (Spain), Manufacturas Serviplast SA (Spain).
The WHEYLAYER®-based multilayer films materials are easily recyclable as opposed to their conventional counterparts. The LCA showed significant reduction of the environmental impact of the resulting packaging and preliminary evaluation showed that it fulfilled food safety regulations. A patent application was filled regarding the coating process (IB2011/053271) and a WHEYLAYER® prototype application machine was built to reach semi-industrial production speed while keeping satisfactory barrier properties.
WHEYLAYER 2 project coordinator Urška Sušnik-Pivk, from Lajovic Tuba Embalaza D.O.O, highlights that “TUBA is very keen on commercializing soon Wheylayer-derived tubes and believes that Wheylayer can add value also to the packaging used in the cosmetics industry, where Tuba is already very much present. Overall, for us, European projects are a great opportunity to investing into research and help us to grow our competitiveness by being able to offer new solutions on the market.” Its technical manager, Dr. Elodie Bugnicourt, further stresses that “the new WHEYLAYER® trademarked biopolymer will have revolutionary impact on packaging sector and on the environment as it solves multiple challenges: new commercial use of currently discarded cheese by-product, petroleum-based plastics replacement with natural bioplastic while enhancing the recyclability of multilayer film”. To learn more about the WHELAYER2 project, please visitwww.wheylayer.eu. Further information on the WHEYLAYER® product and its R&D project (FP7 grant agreement nº218340-2) can be found in the web’s Heritage section.
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“.
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.