VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed lightweight 100 percent bio-based stand-up pouches with high technical performance.
High performance in both oxygen, grease and mineral oil barrier properties has been reached by using different bio-based coatings on a paper substrate. The pouches exploit VTT's patent pending high consistency enzymatic fibrillation of cellulose (HefCel) technology. HefCel technology provides a low-cost method for the production of nanocellulose resulting in a ten-fold increase in the solids content of nanocellulose. Nanocellulose has been shown to be potentially very useful for several future technical applications. The densely-packed structure of nanocellulose films and coatings enable their outstanding oxygen, grease and mineral oil barrier properties. HefCel technology exploits industrial enzymes and simple mixing technology as tools to fibrillate cellulose into nanoscale fibrils without the need for high energy consuming process steps. The resulting nanocellulose is in the consistency of 15-25 percent when traditional nanocellulose production methods result in 1-3 percent consistency.
Fossil-based plastic films still dominate the packaging market, with the development of environmentally friendly new materials of growing importance. Nanocellulose has been shown to be potentially very useful for several future technical applications.
‘One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. Packaging with efficient barrier properties is a crucial factor in the reduction of the food loss. Our solution offers an environmentally friendly option for the global packaging industry,’ explained VTT senior scientist Jari Vartiainen.