The technology combines nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), a biodegradable, transparent material made from plant pulp waste, with additional nanoparticles.
Thinner and cheaper layers
Dov Segev, CEO, Valentis Nanotech, told FoodProductionDaily, he could not disclose the name of the company but the technology was a breakthrough for the industry.
He said the first product will be a transparent coating integrated in a polymeric laminate, which avoids using aluminium foil in high barrier flexible packaging for food.
“To meet the demand for new products and greater functionality, thermoplastic layers are added to a packaging film, which makes them thick and heavy, and increases the cost,” he said.
“Manufacturers are always looking for ways to make the layers thinner and cheaper. High-barrier food packages, for example, integrate multiple layers – including one of aluminum foil — to prevent food deterioration due to oxidation, moisture, and UV penetration.
“The market need for improved thermoplastic films which are thinner, stronger and greener is tremendous.”
NCC - the material of the future?
NCC is coming into focus as a material of the future, projected to create a $600bn industry by 2020 (US National Science Foundation).
Incorporating different nanoparticles into Valentis’ composites adds new functionality (for example, piezoelectric or antibacterial properties) that can be tailored to specific applications and needs.
Segev who is based at the Faculty of Agriculture, Israel, said the collaboration will enable the company to increase its product range and apply the technology to other industries or other types of food packaging and it was in talks with a number of food manufacturers.
It can be used as a coating for increased strength or as a barrier against UV rays, oxygen and moisture.
The goal of the collaboration is to create improved products by integrating Valentis Nanotech's platform technology with market needs as defined by the thermoplastics company and the production methods in this industry.