The Expo is running from May until October this year and Raymond Palmen, regional director EMEA, Packaging & Industrial Polymers, DuPont, told FoodProductionDaily it wanted to be there from a corporate perspective.
Nestlé Research Center
“We wanted to be here, it’s not a typical trade fair as it is based more around thought leadership. For us, we wanted to link a customer event to this to show for our partners and customers to discuss the bigger issues around DuPont and our role in ‘Feeding the World’,” he said.
“We are a science-based company so when we talk about food waste and security we believe there is a science-based solution to feeding the world, that’s why we are here. It is the first time we have attended this Expo.”
Palmen has worked for DuPont in a variety of roles for 27 years and joined the Packaging & Industrial Polymers division six months ago. He opened the conference with 40 partners and customers and delivered a speech entitled “Global Food Security Challenge: Solving it With Science”.
It also invited Hélène Lanctuit, senior specialist in sustainability and novel packaging, Nestlé Research Center, to present her findings on ‘The path to zero food waste’.
Lanctuit joined Nestlé PTC Konolfingen in 2007 as a packaging engineer for infant nutrition and dairy products. She supports food waste reduction initiatives along Nestlé supply chain providing knowledge to the all R&D centers or operation functions.
“DuPont develops many innovations within the company and we have a big R&D budget but if we want to advance in packaging we need to collaborate a lot more with the value chain,” said Palmen.
Waste in food production it comes from transportation, storage and shelf life
“We should look at more and better packaging rather than less if we want to feed the world because when you look at waste in food production it comes from transportation, storage and shelf life.
“Our message is about collaboration and finding new solutions going forward. You can’t focus on short term but the longer term and that will lead to inspiration. We have to progress together to make better packaging.”
According to Palmen, the sector continues to focus on ‘downgauging’; lighterweight packaging and shelf life.
“We are seeing a lot of development with machine manufacturers. Technology is increasing at a fast rate and where we used to see multi-layer films moving from five to nine layers we are hearing of the development of 13 layer machines,” he added.
Dual compartment pouch
During the event, Palmen will highlight DuPont’s Surlyn ionomer resin, which provides low-temperature seal, hot tack strength, and puncture resistance, claiming it extends food shelf life by up to 30% for sweets, nuts, snacks and cheese-cubes, and its work with Futurelife food company in South Africa on a two-sided pouch.
“We need to tackle the problem of shelf life, for example we have developed a dual compartment pouch for the developing world and we are working with machine manufacturers and our nutritional and health business unit to look for applicaions,” said Palmen.
“When you apply a higher heat on the outside fringes of the pouch as well as one on the inside a middle seal will burst, mixing two products together, such as powdered milk and water. We are currently working with Futurelife in South Africa on food formulations for the pouch.
“In this respect, a product can be stored for months in the pouches and resist corrosion due to high temperatures. It’s revolutionary in terms of packaging and food wastage and we are now looking at other nutritional substances.”