Packaging Innovation
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December 11, 2013

Vegetable packaging made from … tomato peel

We talk a lot about eco-friendly packaging rapidly becoming the standard for the packaging industry. Prominent packaging companies are racing toward new environmentally friendly packaging methods.

A European research group is investigating a new means of alternative bio-based lacquers for the tinned food industry. They hope to be able to produce lacquers made from tomato waste. Will vegetable packaging in the near future be made from tomatoes? It certainly seems that way!

Developing bio-based lacquers

The BIOCOPAC (‘Development of bio-based coating from tomato processing wastes intended for metal packaging’) project is developing a new range of alternative bio-based lacquers for the tinned food industry – using the humble tomato – which will comply with EU Directive 2008/98/EC and decrease waste. The internationals team comprises four research centers, four SMEs, and three large enterprises from the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Greece, Liechtenstein and Spain.

Extracting bio-resin from tomato peel

The aim of course is to decrease the use of plastic containers by making good use of waste, in this case waste from tinned and fresh tomatoes. The BIOCOPAC team is working on a bio-resin they extract from tomato peel waste. The goal is to optimize this extraction process so as to be able to produce bio-based lacquers that meet EU legislation requirements for food packaging purposes. To that extent, the team is working closely with industrial groups in the packaging business.

Vegetable packaging and beyond

The BIOCOPAC project has the potential to fuel research into other bio-based products, which in turn could deliver effective tools and affordable alternatives for other markets. Ultimately, the research will lead to improved use of Europe’s renewable agri-food resources and support companies’ efforts to become ‘greener’ by providing safe and recyclable metal packaging.

Source: Phys