Spanish research institute Aimplas has developed new biopolymers for the manufacture of biodegradable packaging that is resistant to sterilisation and pasteurisation.

The new biopolymers will be used to produce biodegradable bottles, bags and caps that are resistant to thermal power, making the packaging suitable for dairy products, such as fresh milk, shakes and yoghurts with probiotics.

Developed within the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme, Aimplas’s new Biobottle project has a budget of €1m, and has been executed by seven companies and technology centres from five different countries.

The seven participants are VLB Berlin in Germany, CNR in Italy, Vizelpas and Espaçoplas in Portugal, OWS in Belgium, and Almuplas and Aljuan in Spain.

"The new biopolymers will be used to produce biodegradable bottles, bags and caps that are resistant to thermal power."

The major aim of the project was to create new biodegradable packages that comply with mechanical and thermal requirements.

The biodegradable products also succeeded in passing microbiological tests without affecting the product’s organoleptic properties.

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Monolayer bottles and caps were developed following the tests, as well as multilayer bags that are capable of resisting temperatures up to 95ºC.

The project uses a reactive extrusion process to modify existing commercial material, which can be processed by conventional methods to obtain the different packaging formats.

Image: The new biopolymers manufacture biodegradable products resistant to sterilisation and pasteurisation. Photo: courtesy of Aimplas.