Exploring novel biobased packaging materials

Producing an adequate supply of food involves great challenges due to population growth, climate change, and increase in the price of energy. In addition, decreasing petroleum sources have led to the development of advanced bio-based materials to replace conventional synthetic plastics and to create novel environmentally compatible applications.

The packaging of food involves a delicate balance between the need to provide sufficient protection to secure food quality and safety, and using the minimal amount of raw materials and natural resources to do so. Packaging both fresh and prepared foods is also a way to reduce food waste, which would occur during transport and storage without the use of protective packaging. Indeed, the primary purpose of food packaging is to provide protection for the product. We characterize novel biobased packaging materials, such as light-weight aerogels.