AIMPLAS research on BiOrangePack, recognized at the go!ODS Awards

May 24th 2024

AIMPLAS

The research carried out in the European project BiOrangePack by AIMPLAS, the Plastic Technology Center, was awarded in the IV edition of the go!ODS Awards, organized by the Spanish Network of the Global Compact in collaboration with the Rafael del Pino Foundation. Specifically, the project was recognized for its contribution to SDG 2: Zero Hunger, thanks to the development of active coatings for citrus that help reduce fungal rot and are made from fruit pulp waste. This initiative thus contributes to guaranteeing the sustainability of food production systems and the application of resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, one of the objectives of the 2030 Agenda.

In the words of Irene Rios, Food Packaging researcher at AIMPLAS, “one of the biggest challenges for the trade and consumption of citrus fruits is their perishability. Fungal rot is the main cause of postharvest losses. Therefore, together with the 13 partners of the BiOrangePack Project, we are working to overcome this problem and improve the efficiency, sustainability and profitability of the organic citrus post-harvest processing chain.”

This project is focused on finding a more efficient logistics system in the citrus trade and the use of active and ecological packaging that protect and extend the useful life of oranges and lemons. Among the specific objectives are reducing losses due to post-harvest rot by up to 30% with non-toxic and ecological treatments and extending the useful life of oranges from 40 to 50 days and lemons from 60 to 70 days.

“Food waste is a serious social and economic problem, but it also represents a major environmental problem because not only food is wasted, but also the resources used to produce food that will not be consumed, resulting in an unnecessary increase in production. of greenhouse gases. By reducing food waste, we are making a great contribution to the protection of the environment and the adaptation and mitigation of climate change through the efficient use of productive resources,” Ríos added.

Reduction of waste and chemicals

BiOrangePack also aims to reduce waste from the industrial transformation of fruits into juices and essences by up to 80% by using citrus pulp waste to develop these active coatings against fungal rot. These coatings can be applied to the fruit itself as edible active packaging or as individual paper wrappers.

The use of waste to develop active packaging is aligned with the stable and sustainable supply of food and the use of environmentally friendly natural materials. Furthermore, the use of natural additives from fruit pulp to develop active packaging for citrus fruits has important environmental advantages compared to synthetic additives, since no chemicals are used, which reduces pollution.

Consortium of 14 partners

BiOrangePack is a European project funded by PRIMA SECTION 2 – 2019. Five of the main citrus producing countries in the Mediterranean region participate in this proposal, including the two main citrus producing countries in the EU (Italy and Spain), the two main citrus exporters (Spain and Turkey), two very dynamic and expanding North African citrus producers (Algeria and Tunisia), the main EU producer of organic citrus (Italy) and the main EU citrus importer (France) .

Specifically, the partners of the consortium are the Centro Siciliano di Fisica Nucleare e di Struttura della Materia, the Center for Colloid and Surface Science – Laboratory of Molecular Surfaces and Nanotechnology, Organizzazione dei produttori di Agrumi – OP Cosentino, Decco Italia srl, Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique, University of Valencia, Agdia Emea, University of Tunis El Manar, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie, Center Technique des Agrumes, University of Ankara, Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences and AIMPLAS.

The go!SDG awards aim to recognize and support innovative projects that contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In addition to the award received by BiOrangePack, the AIMPLAS BREAD4PLA initiative was also recognized in the First Edition of the go!SDG Awards for its contribution to SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption through the creation of biodegradable packaging for bakery products from waste bread.

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