The first public version of a new database for active and intelligent packaging (AIP) innovations that aims to give small and medium enterprises (SME) free access to the groundbreaking technology has been launched.
The AIP Competence Platform, the brainchild of a European Union-funded programme, has been developed to work as an information exchange – particularly for smaller companies which may not be in a position to foster their own active and intelligent packing.
The core aim of the scheme is to enable SMEs to integrate AIP solutions into their products and to provide a collaborative platform that allows knowledge-sharing between companies, research institutes and industry associations.
Active packaging describes products that interact chemically or biologically with its contents or head space to extend shelf life. Packaging may be termed active when it affects one or more attributes of the packaging in a lasting and desired way.
The most common current technologies include oxygen scavengers, antimicrobial agents, moisture and ethylene absorbers.
Intelligent or smart packaging indicates whether the quality of the product has decreased before the product deteriorates. Time-temperature indicators (TTIs) are the most used applications, while freshness indicators and tracking services via intelligent expiry date labels are growing.
AIP networking tool
The database has been under development for six months but now is the first time it has become available to the public, Sven Saengerlaub at the Fraunhofer Institute told FoodProductionDaily.com.
AII interested parties will now be able to submit new AIP innovations to the database - with the Fraunhofer, which coordinated the initiative, acting as a gatekeeper for the platform.
“Information will be validated before it is posted and contributions from industry and research organisations are very welcome,” said Saengerlaub.
Submissions can be sent to him at email@example.com .
The database is still a work in progress and, as yet, not all parts are fully open as the results are currently generated by different partners in the project who worked on the topics.
But the German-based expert said he will be acting as a liaison point and would be pleased to forward any request to appropriate project partners.
The project, which concluded at last year, was collaboration between 12 partners from across Europe including a number of research bodies, such as Hungary’s GTE Scientific Society of Mechanical Engineering and the German Industrial Organisation for Food Technology and Packaging, ITENE, from Spain, plus associations and SMEs from across Europe.
Click HERE to access the database