NanoPack consortium, led by Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, has received funding from the European Union (EU) to develop a new nanotechnology-based antimicrobial packaging solution that helps extend food shelf life.
The €7.7m EU fund will be used to demonstrate, validate and test food-packaging products with antimicrobial surfaces based on natural materials for a three-year period.
As part of the new project, NanoPack will use nanotechnology to develop polymer composites based on natural halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) as reliable and safe carriers, which can tailor-release bioactive payloads.
HNTs are unable to migrate from packaging into food due, but NanoPack’s solution will enable the slow release of potent, volatile, natural and EU-approved essential oils into packaging.
The oils have both antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties and can be tailored to inhibit the growth of most food-borne microbes, therefore prolonging shelf life.