New Project to Develop Biodegradable Packaging System Using Avocado Waste
AIMPLAS announces the development of the GUACAPACK Project to make use of waste produced when avocados are processed for use in food items and extend the shelf life of prepared products. Funded by the Valencian Innovation Agency (AVI), the project is led by the company ITC Packaging and the Universidad de Alicante’s research group on Polymer and Nanomaterial Analysis (Nanobiopol-UA) is also taking part.
Extended Shelf Life of Food by 15%
The project aims to develop a new biodegradable packaging system from renewable sources that also extends the shelf life of food by 15%, thanks to a label with oxygen barrier function that prevents the oxidation of food, and to the incorporation of natural antioxidants extracted from the avocado itself, which also helps reduce the use of synthetic preservatives.
To achieve this, starch from the avocado seed will be extracted and purified to obtain a film that can be used to make multilayer IML labels that have oxygen barrier properties and prevent the oxidation of food. In addition, the active components of waste avocado skin and flesh with a high antioxidant capacity will be obtained and used as a component of a bioplastic (PLA) that will be injected molded to manufacture the packaging system. When food contacts this system, its shelf life will be extended by 15%.
Value-added Use of Agri-food Waste
This option provides an alternative to the use of synthetic additives, as well as a new, high value-added use for agri-food waste to obtain biodegradable packaging from renewable sources. The project is therefore fully aligned with circular economy criteria.
This project will also help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 3 on Good Health and Well-Being, SDG 9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and SDG 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production.