Our research projects

Photo: Manuel Gutjahr


Active polyvalent packaging based on environmentally friendly fibre material with thermo-formable properties to extend shelf-life of fresh food for the reduction waste
Coordinating Institute
Papiertechnische Stiftung
Markus Kleebauer
The West Pomerian University of Technology
The Association West Pomerian Cluster (Green Chemistry)
Papiertechnische Stiftung

Currently, the material of choice for trays for fresh food packaging like meat is mainly thermoformable plastic (PET, PP or PS) or plastic-paper composite materials. However, the recovery rate of those materials is still not sufficient: about one third of the packaging material is wasted nowadays in Europe. In order to meet this problem, novel compostable materials have to be developed exhibiting similar barrier properties for the protection of the packaged good. Beneath recyclability and compostability another important feature for modern packaging material is the antimicrobial functionality with the help of active and food contact approved components. This should lead to an extension in shelf-life of fresh food products, resulting in a reduction in food waste. The project aims to develop a novel fibre-based thermo-formable packaging material for the production of compostable trays for fresh food packaging. Further steps will include barrier functionalities for moisture and O2 impermeability optimised for thermo-processing and also antimicrobial coatings, both intended to preserve the freshness and edibility of the packaging good and thus extending the shelf-life. Additionally, a bio-based barrier topfilm with antimicrobial properties will be developed, which is sealable on the fibre-based tray. The total packaging concept is recyclable and compostable. The project is divided into 3 phases: I) material development, II) material assessment and III) tray/topfilm demonstration, where the performance of the developed packaging material will be evaluated for different fresh food products, both in lab-scale and on industrial scale. The project will deliver valuable knowledge on a new concept for an ecofriendly packaging material for trays and topfilms. ATB participates in 3 workpackages. In WP 6 (Material Assessment) ATB's task is to estimate the target barrier properties (gas and water vapour), quality, and safety criteria required for the selected food products. In WP 7 (Optimisation of material development) ATB carries out pilot scale shelf-life studies on the selected fresh products on the final packaging and comparison to commercially available packaging. Moreover, it carries out packaging and shelf life evaluation at lab scale, with measurement of quality parameters at regular interval, performs shelf life and overall quality assessment and compares the paper trays against a benchmark packaging material regarding retention of quality and safety of the selected products. In WP 8 (Demonstration) ATB will evaluate the compatibility of the paper tray at different food companies, packaging and shelf life assessment of fresh products under real supply chain conditions, benchmarking studies of the paper tray against the existing packaging material.

Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie (BMWi)
Funding agency
Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen "Otto von Guericke" e.V. (AiF)
Funding framework
CORNET, Programm zur Förderung der industriellen Gemeinschaftsforschung (IGF), 18th Call