World’s leading processing and packaging solutions company, Tetra Pak, has unveiled new insights to promote safer and nutritious rations globally through sustainable packaging initiative amid limited raw materials.
The research, geared at promoting fibre-based healthier food packaging, is in collaboration with MAX IV – the most modern synchrotron radiation laboratory in the world. The study brings to life a novel packaging solution that would achieve safe, recyclable and more durable result against liquids and humidity, while meeting the increased sustainability demands.
According to the Vice President Materials & Package, Tetra Pak, Eva Gustavsson, the collaborative research outcome aims to uncover fresh insights into the nanostructure of fibre materials.
The first application to optimise composition of materials used for paper straws is the very first industrial research and development experiment at ForMAX, a brand new research station dedicated to study of materials from the forest, located at the MAX IV Laboratory in Lund, Sweden.
His words: “A fundamental understanding of the structure and properties of materials is crucial as we work towards developing the packaging of the future. Our ambition is to provide the world’s most sustainable food package and experiments at ForMAX will clearly support us in this mission.”
“The package of the future needs to be fully recyclable and have a low environmental impact. Using renewable materials and increasing the use of fibre-based material within packages will be vital. With this research, Tetra Pak is helping to uncover fresh insights into plant-based materials as a basis for future innovations.”
On implication of this development to the market, Managing Director, Tetra Pak West Africa, Oshiokamele Aruna, said this offers a ray of hope for improvement in food packaging in the nearest future with special emphasis on healthy food packaging, reduction in food loss and waste across the African market.
“In 2021, it was reported by the Germany Machinery Association that Nigeria became the largest investor in food and packaging technology in Africa, with an investment of over 346 million Euros, ahead of Egypt and South Africa. The new foray into fibre-based food packaging will further enhance investment and open more opportunities and possibilities for willing investors into the African market agricultural value chain with packaging partnership and support from Tetra Pak,” he said.
Giving further insight into the research, Manager, ForMAX beamline, MAX IV, Kim Nygård said: “The experiment conducted at ForMAX is a milestone for both the academia and industry. The research station is the first of its kind and will facilitate both fundamental and applied industrial research on how new sustainable materials can be used going forward. We are proud to support Tetra Pak in its development of sustainable packaging materials for the future.”
While also commenting on the breakthrough, Technology Specialist, Virtual Modelling, Tetra Pak Eskil Andreasson observed: “Our first experiment, which starts with paper straws, provides additional analysis capabilities into how paper straw material responds to changes in the environment in real-time, as well as how the straw interacts with different types of liquids under stringent conditions. These new insights and knowledge will be applied to developing the paper straws of the future in our virtual modelling tools and helping us to improve their functionality.”