Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Green packaging based on oat waste

Scientists have extracted microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) from cereal waste. This was incorporated into low-weight, biodegradable and renewable packaging, which has superior mechanical and barrier properties and a smaller environmental footprint.
Green packaging based on oat waste
In Europe, over 35 % of cereal production is wasted, and conventional packaging generates over 5 million tonnes of landfilled plastics every year. These cereal and packaging waste streams can be reduced by exploring useful and eco-friendly applications for both of them.

The aim of the EU-funded FUNKIFIBRE (Cereal waste valorisation through development of functional key fibres to innovate in fibre packaging materials) project was to extract key fibres from oat waste for reinforcing plastic packaging materials. This created superior and more sustainable packaging materials.

Project partners used oat husks, a food by-product, as a new source for the industrial production of MFC. The oat MFC was chemically modified using environmentally friendly processes, resulting in hydrophobised MFC with enhanced compatibility with hydrophobic polymer matrices.

Researchers and companies involved in the project developed and characterised two types of traditional plastics packages and explored which of these would be most suited to the FUNKIFIBRE final application. The result was packaging with improved mechanical, thermal and barrier properties compared to the traditional polymer matrix.

FUNKIFIBRE will help to raise consumer awareness and drive the purchase of products packaged in a more sustainable and environmentally responsible way. This shift away from conventional methods will have an economic impact on the cereal and packaging industries, and, more importantly, help to reduce environmental impacts.

Related information


Microfibrillated cellulose, FUNKFIBRE, functional fibres, oat waste, hydrophobic polymer matrices
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