CELLUPACK is one step ahead of the European regulation of 2021, which will forbid the use of all single-use plastic products, and seeks to develop a substitute material that is biodegradable, water soluble and edible, flavourless and odourless. According to the project participants, this material can be manufactured at large scale and is very versatile, and can be used for different types of single-use packagings. It also fosters a circular economy given its dissolution and further regeneration and reuse, with minimum energy consumption.
The company Carburos Metálicos has already shown interest in the project and has offered to host the validation tests of the new products. At the moment, CELLUPACK is still in the prototype phase and will be able to make use of the new network of innovation laboratories located at the UAB campus, the UAB Open Labs.
The multidisciplinary team at CELLUPACK met during the Generating Ideas Programme and is now formed by Camilla Dore, engineer in nanotechnology and PhD fellow of the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC), Michele Dei, researcher at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM), and food technologist Elena Jacas.
The winning project was chosen by a jury formed by the Head of the Servei d'Innovació Agroalimentària del Departament d’Agricultura Maria Josep Ribot; the RD+i Coordinator of the Catalan Federation of Agrarian Cooperatives of Catalonia, Màrius Simon; the Director of Food Projects at Grup Carinsa, Alfons Perote; the Professor of the Department of Animal and Food Science, Buenaventura Guarnis, and the Manager of RD+i Projects at ACCIÓ, Cristina Peña.
The Generating Ideas Programme aims to create synergies between researchers, organisations and businesses. This 10th edition was funded by the UAB Social Council, the Barcelona Synchrotron Park and the company Andrés Pintaluba. It also formed part of the European project Higher.