FISH4FISH project overall objectives well fit the circular economy assumption and the Blue Economy challenges:
- Give value to the bio-waste of the seafood sector by the production of a new active and sustainable material for fish packaging: the introduction of new bio-based materials, obtained from food, marine and lignin agro-wastes represent such an attractive alternative to conventional polymers, in the aspect of a non-ending source with better and improved properties and a minimal environmental impact and demonstrate the possibility to increase the bio-based value chain in the seafood field.
- Increase the fish shelf life thanks to the improved antimicrobial and antioxidant activities and barrier properties of the material packaging: fish is one of the most-traded food commodities worldwide. Capture fisheries and aquaculture provide valuable economic and social benefits to those who work in these industries. However, post-harvest handling, processing, and storage of fish lead to food losses and waste . Spoilage is the process in which fish deteriorates to the point that becomes unacceptable for human consumption and globally account for around 10% (10 to 12 million tons per year) of the total production from capture fisheries and aquaculture. Packaging plays a critical role in the fish supply chain and is part of the solution to tackle food waste.
- Help to reduce sea and terrestrial plastic litter providing a fully biodegradable and compostable solution: The global production of plastics is following a clear exponential trend, reaching 311 million tonnes in 2014. It is projected to reach around 1800 million tonnes in 2050. The plastics production and the incineration of plastic wastes give rise globally to approximately 400 million tonnes of CO2 a year On average in the EU, 31 kg of plastic packaging waste is produced per person per year. This adds up to 15.8 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste generated in the EU in one year. Even if fractions of the plastic wastes can be recycled, most of the packaging residues, and particularly those coming from the food packaging, are released in landfills, creating an enormous amount of wastes, without any energy or material recovery. As food packaging fulfils very important functions, such as the prevention of physical, chemical and/or microbiological contamination, as well as food adulteration, the food industry is continuously looking to suppliers for eco-optimal plastic packaging and sustainable solutions .
- Promote the transition towards a fossil-free future: The EU communication “A sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe “, state that, the substitution of fossil resources with sustainable biomass-based resources and the greenhouse gas emission reduction related to more resource efficient and sustainable production patterns, are essential to remain under the 2°C limit.
Scientific and technological objectives:
1 – Production of chitosan with different acetylation degrees and chito-oligosaccharides with enhanced antioxidant and antimicrobial activity;
2 – Lignin-based nanoparticles functionalized with chito-oligomers as biofiller to improve mechanical and barrier properties;
3 – Production of a new bio-based plastic material with antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties to increase fish shelf life;
4 – Assesment of biodegradability and compostability of new products;
5 – Scale up from laboratory level to pilot scale;
6 – Packaging design to fit the performance and functionality for fish packaging according to market requirements;
7 – Assessment of the environmental impacts of the developed processes and products using LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) methodologies
8 – Economic and social viability performance check trough LCC (Life Cycle Cost) and Social LCA analysis and business plan;
9 – Development of effective communication plan to disseminate the results of the project with the involvement of industrial stakeholders.