General consumer acceptance in Europe is swiftly moving towards less packaging materials and environmentallyfriendly, biodegradable materials. Furthermore there is, also in the traditional dairy industry, a pressing need for better product- and process control i.e to "assist" nature to make better products faster. Cheese is a biological, natural product that must be protected in order to be safely stored and handled which in combination with above trends means that new, biodegradable altematives for both the non-biodegradable plastic coating and for the petroleum-based wax must be developed: natural materials deserve natural packaging. Such new cheese coating and wax are not available and new formulations must be found based on biodegradable materials.The new coating and wax are based on innovative biopolymers to be researched and developed in this project; these biopolymers have ample potential to satisfy these demands, but only afler extensive work on laboratory- and pilot-scale, followed by confirmatory field tests under different climatological conditions. This project sets out to do exactly that. The principal industrial objectives of this project are to research and develop a readily biodegradable food-grade biopolymer compatible with cheese, that is applicable both as a latex coating and as a wax. The new coating system will provide adequate protection form mould growth prevention whilst having acceptable drying time and controlled water permeability. Cheese labelling will be much easier and cheese ripening/storage time will be at least 10% shorter, so costs are lower. Proposals are to be worked out for new national and European standards for cheese wax and coating, including newly developed quality tests. The research wiil be done by reputed RTD institutes, on a Europe-wide scale, on behalf of SMEs from Italy, Spain, Germany and Sweden coordinated by a Dutch SME active in the production and supply of dairy ingredients including cheese coating. This arrangement facilitates dissemination and implementation on an Eurowide scale. Implementation of the project results will result in estimated benefits of 20 million ECU for the cheese sector plus all associated environmental advantages and more consumer protection. The project will strongly support the European cheesemaking industry (1 million tons of coated cheese per year worth over 6 000 million ECU / year). This will enable the sector to anticipate future consumer demands, protecting it from the increasing competHion from outside Europe and offering better survival possibilities notably for the more artisan SME cheesemakers and therefore safeguarding the highly valued cheese diversify in Europe.
Call for proposalData not available
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
6700 AA Wageningen
22071 Cadorago Como
20075 Lodi Milano
891 04 Örnsköldsvik
183 53 Täby