Search tool serves R&D packaging development, says Elsevier

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

An efficiency tool aimed at helping the food production industry with packaging research can increase revenues by reducing product time-to-market, says Elsevier.

The provider of scientific, technical and medical information said that its internet search tool, Illumin8, is designed to help the food production sector with packaging research by providing answers to questions that arise in the development process.

Joe Buzzanga, illumin8's product manager for Elsevier, said that typical food companies’ requests would include queries on products or technologies that provide better shelf-life, prevent spoilage, absorb oxygen, are biodegradable, use bioplastics or recycled aluminium, or are resealable and easy to open.

Time saving device

He told that by leveraging this internet search tool for R&D activities, companies can rapidly cut down the time it takes to generate new ideas and make discoveries regarding trends and opportunities in food production and development.

And, according to Buzzanga, illumina8, for the most part, eliminates the need for external services like consultants or market research firms – both of which can be costly and time consuming.

He said that, as an example, if a project team wished to find new ideas to better maintain their snacks' freshness, illumin8, would enable them to quickly identify innovative packaging materials that keep this type of food fresher for longer or technologies that enable them to develop these packages in a cheaper way.

Equipment sourcing

They could also source equipment manufacturers to potentially partner with in the development of the product - saving them weeks of manual research work, added Buzzanga.

He said, by way of an additional illustration, the tool could also aid companies seeking to address the trend of weight management and portion control, by helping them quickly find dispensing mechanisms for accurate, controlled delivery of dressings and sauces.

“The results might also include mechanisms used in other areas, including chemicals, biotech, and consumer products. However, the researchers could take these insights and new-found knowledge and apply them to their own industry/product development project,” ​claims Buzzanga.

Vast content

He said that illumin8 is designed to go beyond simple keyword search, quickly finding and extracting summarized answers and interrelationships that are semantically related to the context of the search query.

“What's particularly unique is that it distills deep meaning, purpose and insight not only from all of the Internet's content, but because it is an Elsevier product it can also search the vast amount of its full-text content, scientific abstracts, and patent information.

“The ability to tap into these resources can serve as a huge leg up for R&D initiatives,” ​continued Buzzanga.

He added that the search tool allows companies to tap into the principles of Open Innovation by sourcing information from outside their immediate organization, and it also facilitates internal sharing by allowing researchers to export search results to an easy-to-understand Excel spreadsheet.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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