The overall objective of ECOFUNCO is to select, extract and functionalise molecules such as proteins, cutin, polysaccharides, polyphenols, carotenoids, and fatty acids from readily available, low-valorised biomass sources. This will be used to develop new bio-based coatings for application on two different substrates, specifically cellulosic and plastic based. This will deliver materials for food and personal hygiene use that will offer better performance than currently-available products, as well as delivering more sustainable end of life options.
Antimicrobial coatings based on microbial cellulose and chitin nanofibrils, and/or chitosan for cellulose tissues (sanitary), paper and cardboard (packaging for fresh products like pasta, ham, meat), woven and nonwoven (personal care).
Cutin based formulations for coatings water repellent (tableware, paper cups, service paper, etc.), water vapour barrier (packaging) and protective properties (non-food packaging).
Protein-based barrier adhesive and chitosan-based coatings for multilayer food packaging.
Additionally, combinations of several of the above mentioned properties will be explored, resulting on new applications.
Mapping of the availability and sustainability of the selected feedstocks, optimization of the already developed methods of extraction of proteins, polysaccharides, cutin and active ingredients, and functionalization of polysaccharides.
Optimization of the coating materials based on proteins, polysaccharides and cutins –and their blends-, also considering possible modification and functionalization of the molecules as well as their formulation and application by different technologies.
Bringing at semi-pilot scale the previously optimized bio-based coatings on cellulosic and plastic substrates for production of personal care, tableware and packaging products.
Fulfillment of safety and health requirements, as well as regulations related with the foreseen products for the elaboration of Life Cycle Assessment and Cost Effectiveness Analysis.