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Browsing by Subject "food packaging"

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  • Ruippo, Lotta (2020)
    Innovation in food packaging interlinks many sustainability challenges ranging from food loss and waste through the value chains, to resource extraction and growing amounts of plastic waste globally. Food packaging innovations arising from regulation often focus on material waste and ignore other facets of sustainability such as food loss and waste. Simultaneously, conventional notions of innovations are focused on firm growth and competitiveness. This study investigates the perceptions of sustainability in food packaging among expert actors in Finland. Moreover, it examines how notions of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) are reflected in the research and development processes in the field. Here, RRI is understood as a framework for examining the role of socio-ethical considerations in research and development. The study aimed to find out which packaging attributes are considered sustainable, what motivations actors in the field have, what type of obstacles exist to innovation in the field, and which actor groups are perceived to be responsible for accelerating the food packaging transition towards sustainability. Semi-structured expert interviews were conducted with 14 participants, and the interview data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis (QCA). The results show that perceptions of sustainability in food packaging vary across the field. However, reducing food waste and loss was considered the most important facet of sustainability in food packaging. Actors in the field are motivated by personal reasons and the anticipated profitability of sustainable innovations. However, innovations in the field are slowed down because of regulatory issues, food safety requirements, unpredictable future changes, and technological lock-ins. Finally, the results of this study indicate that actors in the sector believe the Finnish government and brand owners in the food and beverage industries should be responsible for driving innovation towards improved sustainability. However, the qualitative approach taken here limits the generalizability of the results. The results suggest an ongoing narrative shift in innovation towards greater inclusion of social and ethical considerations in the research and development process.
  • Räisänen, Heidi (2016)
    Sustainable development and fluctuating petroleum prices encourage manufacturing packaging materials in a more natural and cost-effective way. Green economy utilizes renewable raw materials from the nature which can be used in larger scale applications such as packaging industry. Barrier properties can be enhanced by manufacturing multilayer structures with a coating made of organic materials such as cellulose nanofibrils (CNF). With CNF it is possible to provide barrier and mechanical improvement to packaging material at low added cost. Together with hydrophobic films (e.g., HDPE, LDPE) also the low water vapor permeability and heat sealing properties can be enhanced. The aim of this thesis was to utilize CNF as a barrier layer for bio-based flexible food packaging pouches. A study consisted of examining 1-layer bio-HDPE film, 2-layer bio-HDPE/CNF film and 3-layer HDPE/CNF/LDPE film and testing their permeability (for oxygen, water vapor and aroma), sealability, tensile strength, influence of irradiation and aroma compounds (clove), and suitability for modified atmosphere packaging, MAP (with hazelnuts). The 2- and 3-layer multilayer films provided very good oxygen barrier under dry conditions, although aroma exposure increased the oxygen permeability rates. Pouches made of the 2-layer film were the most feasible for MAP, even though the 3-layer film would also have been an alternative if the film quality had been optimal. The oxidation of fatty acids in hazelnuts could be slowed down by using multilayer structure including CNF barrier under modified atmospheric conditions. This study helps to verify the feasibility of the bio-based multilayer films as a new food packaging material, and demonstrates the use of CNF as a high-barrier layer in a laminate. Bio-HDPE/CNF/bio-LDPE multilayer has potential for utilizing it in flexible food packaging pouches if the manufacture process is standardized leading into homogeneous film quality.