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Active and smart packaging for food: new development approaches based on the reuse of food industry by-products.

Grant number: 23/06432-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2024
Effective date (End): January 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Daniel Souza Corrêa
Grantee:Mirella Romanelli Vicente Bertolo
Host Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/22214-6 - Towards a convergence of technologies: from sensing and biosensing to information visualization and machine learning for data analysis in clinical diagnosis, AP.TEM

Abstract

Food loss and waste are serious problems that affect the world, leading to economic, environmental, and social damages. The development of new multifunctional packaging for food can be a strategy to reduce food loss. When formulating these packages from agro-industrial waste, for example, it is also aimed to avoid the formation of new by-products by reusing existing ones, which meets the concepts of circular economy. Thus, the main aim of this research project is to develop, optimize, and characterize multifunctional packaging for food formulated mainly from agro-industrial by-products, and to evaluate their active and intelligent performance in food. Natural deep eutectic solvents (NADES) will be prepared, characterized, and used for the extraction of phenolic compounds and essential oils from food by-products, using ultrasound-assisted extraction and hydro distillation processes to be optimized. The by-products will also serve as sources of pectin, which will be extracted, characterized, and used as a base polymer for packaging development. Once optimized and characterized regarding their chemical composition and antioxidant activities, the extracts and essential oils will be incorporated as active compounds into the pectin matrix, and the packaging formulation will be optimized in relation to the concentration of its components, to maximize their active responses (antioxidant and antimicrobial). Two techniques will be evaluated for obtaining the packaging materials: casting for the formulation of active films, and electrospinning for the formulation of nanofiber blankets. Both the films and the nanofiber blankets will be characterized in terms of their spectroscopic, morphological, physicochemical, optical, thermal, and mechanical properties, and the nanofiber blankets will be incorporated with natural compounds for the verification of intelligent properties, to act as colorimetric indicators of food spoilage. Finally, the optimized and characterized films and nanofiber blankets will be applied in food models to verify their active and intelligent potential.

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