Biodegradable Smart Food Package

Project Title: The Development of a Biodegradable Smart Packaging

Project Description: Currently food waste is a major problem (30% of all food produced is wasted) and 50% of this waste is produced when the food is packed. This waste is mainly due to the oxidation of lipids and proteins and microbial spoilage. During the food spoilage, the food starts releasing gases (NH3, TMA, and DMA). By detecting the presence of these three gases we can detect the spoilage at the initial stage when the food is still consumable. Therefore, if we want to reduce the food waste, we have to increase the shelf-life of food products by reducing the spoilage rate (oxidation and microbial spoilage), thus reducing these two phenomena is mandatory. In order to achieve this:

  • We will develop a gas sensor array for NH3, TMA, and DMA detection which will monitor the headspace of the packaging and coat the inner-side of the package with smart materials incorporated with antioxidant and antimicrobial agents.
  • Then when the presence of the analyte is detected the sensor will send an electrical signal to the smart materials.
  • Under the electrical stimulation induced by the sensor the volatile agents loaded inside will be realized and stops or reduce the spoilage rate of the food.
    In this way the sensor and the smart materials they work together in a closed system and extend the shelf life of the food product as long as possible.

Project Funding:
This project is funded by Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)

For more information please contact Ali Douaki.