VALENCIA, June 16 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Aimplas, Technological Institute of Plastic belonging to the Network of Technological Institutes of the Valencian Community (REDIT), is developing a “novel solution to obtain safer packaging that guarantees food safety and prevents food deterioration or contamination”.
The demand for food in convenience format, i.e. such already packaged dishes that can usually be prepared and consumed in the container itself in a time-saving manner, is increasing due to the current changes in our lifestyles. In this context, packaging plays a crucial role in ensuring food safety and preventing food deterioration or contamination.
With the Invitro nias project, Aimplas is developing an innovative solution based on in vitro bioassays to “protect consumer health” to obtain safer food packaging by controlling NIAS (Non-Intentionally Added Substances), those substances that are made from were not added for technical reasons can end up on the packaging during manufacture and migrate into the food, either through changes in the composition during the production process or during handling by the consumer.
The novelty of this project, funded by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (Ivace), lies in particular in that it establishes an alternative methodology that optimizes and simplifies the risk assessment of NIAS, since it not only focuses on the identification of the substances detected by chemical analysis, but combines descriptive analysis techniques with analyzes of biological activity, the company points out in a statement.
In the words of researcher at Aimplas Food Contact and Packaging Laboratory, Raquel Requena Peris, “The use of cell culture-based in vitro assays, also known as in vitro bioassays, is a very useful tool in the evaluation of toxicological Properties such as cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and the possible disruption of endocrine activity, since they are faster and cheaper tests and they also reduce the need for animal testing compared to in vivo tests”.
This research will enable companies to improve their competitiveness and produce safe products that comply with legislation on plastics in contact with food. In this sense, the collaboration in the project of companies that produce packaging and packaging materials, such as ITC Packaging, Agua Mineral San Benedetto, Inplast Manufacturas and Fina Flexible Packaging & Innovation, is essential to fine-tune the method and interpret the results.
PHARMACY AND COSMETICS
Even if the developments are initially focused on food contact materials, they could also be transferred to other related industries such as health and pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, whose respective requirements for packaging are similar to those of the materials law intended for food contact.
This project is funded by the Ministry of Sustainable Economy, Productius Sectors, Comerç i Treball of the Generalitat Valenciana through Ivace assistance with co-financing from the Spring funds of the EU under the Spring Operational Program of the Valencian Community 2021-2027. These grants are aimed at technology centers in the Valencian Community for the development of non-economic R&D projects carried out in collaboration with companies for the 2021 financial year.