Prof. Dr. Gürbüz Güneş from Department of Food Engineering takes part as the principle investigator in the project entitled “PLASMAPACK: Double¬sided bio-treatment of polymeric foil for food packaging using coupled DBD¬Corona non¬thermal plasma” was accepted to be supported by EU from MANUNET 2020 program.
The coordinator of the project is Dragos George Astanesi from “George Asachi" Technical University of Iasi (Romania) and two SMEs from Romania and Türkiye are also partners in the project. PlasmaPack aims to develop a treating technology based on NTP plasma (coupled DBD-Corona discharges) for double-sided treatment of polymeric foil used in food packaging. This will lead to proper disinfection (sterilization) of inner surface and facilitates smart labels printing on outer surface. Romanian team visited ITU on 1-6 November, 2021, set up a NTP system and some preliminary experiments were conducted.
The advantages of polymeric food packaging are widely recognized but the improper sterilization and/or disinfection of innersurface of polymer in contact with food may represent a major risk in food safety. On the other hand, the next generation of food packaging should be suitable for incorporating elabels and smart labels in order to improve the traceability of the food products. The most important issue is related to both inner and outer surfaces of polymeric foil treatment, playing an important role in packaging and should satisfy the expectations in respect to food safety and labelling quality. In this regard, nonthermal plasma (NTP) emerged as technology capable of increasing the surface energy of polymers, enhancing adhesion and printability, and has been successfully applied for surface decontamination of both food products and food packaging. Accordingly, PlasmaPack aims to develop a technology based on NTP plasma (coupled DBD-Corona discharges) for doublesided treatment of polymeric foil used in food packaging. This will lead to proper disinfection (sterilization) of inner surface and facilitates smart labels printing on outer surface.
A set of work packages has been planned within a period of 24 months comprising six work packages including technical and scientific activities while another 2 work packages including horizontal activities/tasks (management, coordination, risks mitigation, dissemination, results exploitation, standardization, financial and technical reporting, auditing) were assigned for guaranteeing project’s results accomplishment. The work plan was designed and developed by the Consortium’s members on the basis of their prior experience in running proposals funded from public funds.
The scientific work within PlasmaPack will be run under the supervision of two international R&D high ranked organizations (TUIASI electrical and electronic products design and development) and ITU (microbiological tests, polymer chemistry and technology, evaluation of the plasma treatment efficiency) while the technological development of the product industrial materialization will be the result of cooperation with POSETSAN (developing and providing polymeric foil for food packaging) and ProSupport (perform the labels printing and evaluating the efficiency of the plasma treatment). TUIASI lead the management activity at the level of its institution, and coordinate the dissemination and exploitation. ITU will coordinate the project from the Turkish side.
The overall impact of PlasmaPack will consist in improving the food packaging manufacturing process in order to sustain the competitiveness of the sector providing disinfection as well as smart labelling technologies at very affordable costs fact which may ensure a high degree of safety in general for food products.