The WHEYLAYER 2 is the follow-on phase from the very successful – WHEYLAYER project (FP7 grant agreement nº218340-2 under the programme “Research for SME Associations”) that ended in October 2011. 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 reaching Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR, Q100) of 1 cm3/m2d bar at 23ºC and 50% RH and Water Vapour Transmission Rate (WVTR, Q100) of 2 g/m² d. 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 and a WHEYLAYER® prototype application machine was built to reach semi-industrial production speed while keeping satisfactory barrier properties.
The WHEYLAYER 2 project started on August 1st, 2012. With a 2 years funding from the FP7 Demonstration Activity scheme, it 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.