img01There is a growing need and significant market opportunity for more sustainable packaging solutions. ThermoWhey will build on past projects that developed a biopolymer-coating based on more expensive pure whey protein isolates (WPI) for plastic films capable of replacing the expensive synthetic oxygen barrier layers currently used in food packaging such as Etylene vinyl alcohol copolymers (EVOH).
Wheylayer obtained excellent Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR, Q100) down to ranges of 1 cm3/m2 d bar at 23ºC and 50% relative humidity (RH), as well as interesting humidity barrier with Water Vapour Transmission Rate (WVTR, Q100) down to ranges of 2 g/m² d (Q100 refers to the barrier properties normalized to a layer of 100 microns thickness). Such values outperform market available biopolymers. WHEYLAYER also demonstrated the scale-up ability of the application of such coatings on multilayer films. Furthermore, convertibility tests into final packaging items showed the thermoformability of similar formulations was limited to low deformation rate to obtain blisters unless the thermoforming was done online with the coating application. As such the main technological innovation proposed by the ThermoWhey project is to improve the long term thermoformability of whey protein coated packaging.