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WHEYLAYER to Develop Protein-coated Plastic Films to Replace Synthetic Oxygen-barrier Layers

SpecialChem / Aug 30, 2011

WHEYLAYER is a 3 year R+D project that is being funded by the EC's Seventh Framework Programme under "Research for SME Associations."

WHEYLAYER aims to develop whey protein-coated plastic films to replace expensive polymers and increase recyclability which will enable to replace currently used synthetic oxygen-barrier layers with whey protein. It would solve a multiple environmental and productivity problems at European level: finding a valid commercial use of currently discarded whey protein, and replacing harmful chemical based plastics with a natural by-product which would safeguard the performance and enhance the recyclability of substrate film, thus adding huge value for the European packaging and food industries. The WHEYLAYER project officially started on last NOV. 2008. The Kick off Meeting was held in Barcelona on 11th and 12th November and was hosted by PIMEC at their offices.


The WHEYLAYER Project is a 3 year industry driven research and development project that is being funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme under "Research for SME- Associations."

The aim of this cooperative research project is to replace currently used synthetic oxygen-barrier layers with whey protein coatings. Preliminary tests on the oxygen permeation properties of whey-protein-coated plastic films carried out to date have revealed that Whey protein isolate (WPI) or concentrate (WPC) coating solutions displayed excellent oxygen barrier properties at low to intermediate Relative Humidity, comparable to synthetic oxygen barriers and have showed great promise in the potential of whey protein coatings for replacing existing expensive synthetic oxygen barrier polymers.

This present research project will build upon exiting research in order to arrive at a commercially feasible technique for developing whey coated plastic films, without jeopardizing the oxygen or moisture barrier performance of conventional plastic films, while increasing the recyclability of these plastics.


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