Improving fresh-cut products: FRESHCOAT

Innovative coating allows fresh-cut products to increase shelf life and quality

Convenience food is a growing market worldwide. Moreover, the trend to healthy but convenient products is increasing even more. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are minimally processed, freshly-cut and packed in a convenient way are being introduced into the market. However, fresh-cut products have a short shelf life of only several days, which enables just a limited regional distribution within the cooling chain and limits access to wider markets. Beyond that, the increased risk of foodborne bacteria underlines the necessity of efficient hygienic concepts.

Functional edible coatings from natural sources offer improvement for food safety and quality

The main objectVerpackte Lebensmittel-Aug 2014ive of FRESHCOAT is the development of functional edible coatings for fresh-cut produce in order to increase the shelf life, food safety and quality. The project investigates edible coatings from natural sources, like carbohydrates or proteins with functional components like antimicrobial agents and antioxidants. The type of coating depends on the specific needs of the selected produce. Besides the edible coating itself, the project includes the development of coating technologies like spraying, dipping or vacuum infiltration with a focus on industrial feasibility. The last module of the project contains a suitable external packaging approach which will be environmentally friendly and reduced to a cost effective minimum because the coated food itself has better barrier functions.

Intersectoral business potential for the material, packaging, and retail industry

A successful course of the project will allow fresh-cut processors and retailers to innovate their production process and ultimately improve the shelf life and microbial safety of their products. In this way, expanded distribution channels can be established and the amount of food wastage can be decreased. The retail industry will be able to increase their sales areas, the number of clients and annual turnover of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. Moreover, suppliers of functional ingredients or equipment, packaging machines and materials benefit from the FRESHCOAT project.

Project duration 2013 to 2015

For more information visit www.freshcoat.eu/en/index.html

Contact: Dr. rer. nat. Carolin Hauser, Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging, Phone +49 8161 491-626, E-Mail carolin.hauser@ivv.fraunhofer.de

Obstscheiben in Schale 3 - Dez 2008Participants from Germany
6 German SMEs
IVLV – Industrievereinigung für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Verpackung e.V. – coordinating association
IVV – Fraunhofer-Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging – researcher

Participants from Poland
8 Polish SMEs
GCC – The Association West Pomerian Cluster ‘Green Chemistry’ – association
ZUT CBIMO – The West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin – researcher

 

©pictures: IVV