Telles expands its bioplastics line to food applications

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bioplastic, European food safety authority

A new bioplastic thermoforming grade was launched this week for food packaging applications by Telles, a joint venture between Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Metabolix.

By introducing Mirel F3002 in the US, Canada and Latin American markets, Telles has expanded its bioplastics thermoforming grade range in the food service and food packaging sector.

Dan Gilliland director of business development for Mirel Bioplastics told FoodProductionDaily.com that Telles is currently applying for food compliance with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and expects the product to be approved and launched in Europe very soon.

Food applications

Gilliland explained the sugar-based material needed little alteration in order to be food approved.

“We make the material in a very food friendly way already, so we didn’t have to do anything other than go through the regular approval process,” ​he added.

Mirel F3002 is available for use in non-alcoholic food contact applications. The conditions range from frozen food storage to boiling water up to 100°c, including microwave reheating, said the company.

Telles claims the new grade is suitable for a range of thermoformed food service and packaging applications, including cold and hot cups, cup lids, yogurt containers, tubs and trays for meats and vegetables, condiment cups and other single-serve and disposable food packaging.

Microbial fermentation process

Mirel is the name of a group of bioplastic materials that are claimed to have physical properties similar to petroleum-based resins, but they are biobased and biodegradable.

The resins are made from sugar, and like most other bioplastics and organic matter the grade is not designed to break down in landfills, but it will biodegrade in natural soil and water environments, home composting systems and industrial composting facilities.

The U.S. thermoforming market was estimated to be 2.3bn kg in 2008, growing at 4.3 per cent per year. Telles estimates that about 70 per cent of this demand is in food contact applications.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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