The main scope of the MEATCOAT is the development of a new functional antimicrobial edible coating for meat packaging to improve the integrity of products during distribution and commercialisation. The proposed system will increase shelf-life of the product due to their antimicrobial characteristics. The present proposal aims help end-user communities of SMEs: the fresh food industry (and particularly fresh meat sub-sector) by developing a new concept of edible coating that will enable a better preservation and quality of meat products and a longer shelf life in the market. The second community is the coating manufacturers, who need new products to launch to the market, to remain competitive and support their growth.These communities represents mature sectors in Europe with annual revenues valued in €40,456M and require continues effort in research and development to get products in a very competitive market to attend the consumer demand with increasing level of quality. A huge amount of fresh meat is disposed everyday from market selves. Better ways of preservation would avoid this and produce huge saves in the full supply chain. In addition, there is pressure to develop new products based on renewable sources that can replace present oil-based plastics whose recycling activity is inefficient and expensive. EC legislation is trying to curb the landfill disposal of recyclable or non-recyclable plastics, by encouraging the development of new products replacing recyclable or non-recyclable plastic packaging. As a result there are high levels of innovation in green packaging(lightweight and bio-based packaging materials). On the other hand, all new developments and innovations in the packaging industry will have to meet the current European standards and regulations for food contact materials, safety and public health (EC1935/2004, EC2073/2005 and EC450/2009), as well as the requirements of the REACH legislation.
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