Sustainable technologies for the production of biodegradable materials based on natural chitin-nanofibrils derived by waste of fish industry, to produce food grade packaging.
Main Objective: The n-CHITOPACK project will focus on the industrial use of waste derived natural chitin nanocrystals (known as chitin-nanofibrils-CN) to produce functional bacteriostatic films and rigid packaging to be used in the food industry which are 100% bio-degradable and demonstrate higher mechanical strength as well as increased UV and heat resistance. Chitin and chitosan have many beneficial biological and chemical properties for food packaging, as they are biocompatible, naturally biodegradable polymers, safe, non-toxic and moreover show antimicrobial and UV adsorption characteristics. Moreover, using chitin from waste reduces the pressure on primary raw materials, maximise resource productivity and minimise waste from processing along the value chain. n-CHITOPACK will leverage on a novel patented processes for simple, easy and inexpensive preparation of industrial quantities of chitin-nanofibrils as well as their integration into the production process of polymer materials, to formulate and design new improved packaging materials for European SMEs in the packaging industry, with significant benefits for Europe’s competitiveness and environment in terms of reduced CO2 footprint moving away from petro-chemical feedstock towards more environmentally friendly and inexpensive solutions.