Food Quality and Preservation


iata - envases


Development of new materials, mixtures, structures and coatings for packaging applications that improve food stability and reduce environmental impact. Characterization of the functional properties of packaging materials with especial attention to food/package interaction issues (permeation, sorption, scalping, migration, release). Study, development and design of new packaging technologies including Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and active and intelligent packaging (smart packaging).


For several decades, the packaging group has focused its efforts to the study of food packaging and packaging materials in order to improve the quality and safety of packaged foods and increase their shelf life, objective, a goal that still applies. At present, the group activities are focused on basic and applied scientific research in the following areas:

1. Development and improvement of packaging materials The search for materials that improve the performance of food packages is one of the basic research objectives covered in this lab. This line currently includes the following specific research lines:

  • - Development of new polymeric materials by polymer blends.
  • - Development of composites by the incorporation of reduced size particles in polymer matrices (nanocomposites)
  • - Development of packaging materials with reduced environmental impact. Biopolymers and biodegradable materials.

2. Characterization of the properties of materials for packaging design

  • - Analysis of migration processes involving polymer residues and additives in food packaging
  • - Characterization of the transport of organic compounds in polymeric materials - sorption, release and permeation
  • - Permeability of permanent gases and water vapor
  • - Study and development of theoretical expressions for predicting the mass transport behavior of packages
  • - Analysis of mass transport processes in perforated and microperforated packages
  • - Study of environment / package / food interactions and the relationship between polymer structure and Barrier properties

3. Study and development of new packaging technologies. MAP and Active and intelligent packaging

  • - Modified atmosphere packaging of food. Research, development and prediction of the packaging of minimally processed food
  • - Development of modified atmosphere packaging by using active agents
  • - Active films and packages with embedded active components based on the controlled release of agents
  • - Containers with agents immobilized on the surface of the container. Containers with enzyme and antimicrobial activity

4. Study and development of edible coatings and microencapsulation of food systems or food components to improve stability and bioavailability

  • - Development of edible coatings based on hydrocolloids, by incorporating plasticizers, crosslinkers or by mixing with other food biopolymers
  • - Microencapsulation of nutraceuticals or functional ingredients to improve stability and to facilitate its incorporation into functional foods or their bioavailability after consumption

Research staff