The current project has for main objective to develop a line of microwave trays that contains menus nutritionally adapted to child consumption (3-14 year). Notably, developed packages will optimise the warming in microwaves in terms of temperature uniformity and will be composed by raw materials more environmentally friendly. Furthermore, foodstuffs will be chosen according to their intrinsic properties which affect the warming in microwaves. Lastly, menus will be prepared according to nutritional and sociocultural criterias by focusing on the use of local food which stimulate the Mediterranean alimentation.
To realise this general objective, this project proposes a series of specific objectives that initially include the survey of requirements and limits of the leading companies in packaging and packer, as well as child consumer preferences. Then, it will analyse which types of materials coming from a renewable source fits more with technical requirements related to microwave warming, evaluating for this, various physical and chemical, design and foodstuff security parameters. It will also execute more appropriate technics to the introduction/fabrication of packaging (3D technologies, thermoforming, etc.) including the conditioning phase. In this respect, the different 3D printing typologies will be evaluated during various development phases like the mould printing by thermoforming and the coating application that acts as protective screen to microwave radiation.
In parallel, it will analyse potential alternatives to foodstuffs which are used in menus depending on the nutritional requirements of every growth stage. At this point, we would in addition consider data regarding the composition and form of foodstuffs to optimize the behaviour in microwaves of the packaging-foods combination. Finally, we consider the general validation of the final product regarding the quality of this one through the heating with the introduced improvements.
The proposed objectives makes it necessary to create a collaborative project between ITENE and AIJU due to the knowledge generated and the promising results obtained during a previous collaborative project supported by IVACE, “BABYWARM”. Both institutes possess a high complementarity degree that generates synergies in various areas including: selection of renewable source materials (ITENE), security evaluation (AIJU), new materials conception (ITENE) and moulds prototypes and thermoforming (AIJU-ITENE) and design of nutritionally appropriate menus, according to consumer preferences and packer companies (ITENE-AIJU).
Finally, the development of the current project should include the generation and transfer of knowledge via direct application at regional companies’ level, promoting improvements through different dimensions (technological, sociocultural, health) that give added value to companies which stake on those. The products finally materialized will also respect overall benefit conditions that promote the common good.
Area 1: Packaging and Packer Technology
Program: R&D in Cooperation
TECHNOLOGIC INSTITUTE PARTICIPANT (for project in collaboration)
AIJU (participant) and ITENE (coordinator)
Name: Mrs Luisa Marín Nieto