NOBELPACK proposed developing active and intelligent innovative smart components with thermal isolation packaging advance functionality. The NOBELPACK material will be obtained by the integration of a gas and a temperature sensor for food environment monitoring will be taking from the shelve, a moisture absorber and a thermoelectric film device for atmosphere and temperature control, and an electro-chromic external display on a bio-based flexible support to obtain an active thermal isolating packaging film to protect from ambient temperature fluctuations will be develop within the project. The final NOBELPACK product is a unique active, intelligent and sustainable food packaging film able to sense the product conditions and modify them accordingly. NOVELPACK packaging materials will protect the products from temperature variations, atmosphere and moisture, reducing food waste. NOBELPACK proposes the reutilization of the packaging materials to reduce costs and environmental impact, as they will be base in organic biodegradable materials. At the same time, NOBELPACK films will maintain all the aesthetics potential of actual packaging materials, ensuring consumer satisfaction.

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NOBELPACK packaging film will be the first developed product able to provide active thermal-insulation of temperature-sensitive products such as food, for preserving the food thermal cooling inertia to last longer time due to the thermal barriers that will be offer with the new bio-film solutions.


NOBELPACK proposes including multiple functionalities into a revolutionary multilayer packaging material composed of the following elements (table 1):


  1. i)Bio-plastic film A and C


The food contact surface will be a virgin layer free of contaminants placed over the active packaging material. A thin biodegradable non-reusable bio-plastic film satisfying all product specifications will be used in contact with the food (film A) and also at the exterior of the package (film C) allowing labelling and having full aesthetics potential.


  1. ii)Bio-plastic film “B”


A bio-based film, made of PLA, PLA based blend or starch based blend, will be used as support for the different sensors and active elements of the final


Packaging film.


  1. iii)Organic thermistor


A thermistor is a type of resistor whose resistance varies significantly with temperature. Printed organic thermistors will be used by NOVELPACK to sense the internal package temperature and activate, when required, the mechanisms able to compensate for an excessive heat uptake.


  1. iv)Gas sensor


A printed metal oxide semiconductor gas sensor will be used to sense the humidity and the presence of chemical components (Ethylene Gas) produced during the initial stages of decomposition of the packed food. The gas sensors signal will be used both to activate the cooling unit and to externally display the food quality and safety.


  1. v)Humidity absorbers


Printed zeolite layers will be used as moisture control elements to maximise the food preservation time


  1. vi)Thermoelectric module


At a pre-established temperature and/or atmosphere composition, the sensors response will activate the cooling unit based on large area printed thermoelectric film tapes optimized to remove heat from the package interior.


  1. vii)Battery


An energy storage device, based on biodegradable organic layers of polypyrrole-coated high surface area cellulose will provide the required energy to the sensors and thermoelectric film tape device to monitor and control the interior temperature and atmosphere.


  1. viii)Time temperature atmosphere indicators


Printed thermo chromic layer will be used to transduce the temperature and gas sensors signal into a colour code visible at the outside of the package for external monitoring of the food quality and safety.


  1. ix)Electronic circuits


Organic-based printed electronic circuits will be used to interconnect the different sensors, actuators and the electro chromic display.


NOBELPACK components are reliable previously developed products either in the prototype bench of research institutes or the production lines of companies. All components have life expectancies of above 1000 cycles or 10 years. The sensors, displays and thermoelectric tape films need no actuation to be reused. The battery will require recharging by means of applying a potential during a few seconds in between cycles


The goal of NOBELPACK is to create packaging films able to sense the product temperature and chemical state transduce the information into a colour code for external examination and into an intelligent circuit that will activate the thermoelectric film tape. When the product reaches a temperature above a set safety value and/or at the very beginning of its spoliation, the cooling mechanism will be activated: The battery will supply energy to the integrated thermoelectric film tape to compensate for the energy uptake from the ambient.


With the proposed active temperature control films, NOBELPACK aims towards a significant reduction of the temperature increase during transportation of temperature-sensitive products, extending in this way the available time for transportation and decreasing the fraction of spoiled products or their degree of degradation. The active temperature insulation system will also allow reducing the packaging material volume and weight, as compared with passive insulation packages, thus reducing the product transportation costs. What's more, NOBELPACK aims to the development of such packaging systems at low cost using a multilayer structure obtained by means of low cost printing technologies. NOBELPACK will use bio-materials for the biodegradable contact film, the reusable support film and the biodegradable labelling film. The nature of the technologies and materials will ensure the potential of manufacturing packaging films with a wide range of weight, mechanical resistance and shape possibilities. In this way, NOBELPACK reusable films will be compatible with the commercialization of a wide range of packed temperature-sensitive products. Moreover, NOBELPACK films will conserve the potential light weight, flexibility of shapes and potential aesthetics of actual polymer films. The integration of other functionalities, such as oxygen, ethylene or CO2 scavenging, CO2 generation, antimicrobial functions, antioxidant release or adsorption of flavours and odours will be easily integrated in the proposed multilayer structure, through commercially available films with such functionalities.

NOBELPACK will integrate all the functionalities in a bio-plastic film by means of low-cost printing technologies using solution-processed organic or abundant inorganic materials to minimize the total cost of the packaging film. Massive amounts of organic or inorganic semiconductor materials can be produced by solution synthesis at relatively low temperatures and without the need of high vacuum, thus without the use of neither large amounts of energy nor high-end technology. The very high yields of materials production, the large scale production and the low energy usage are the principal causes of the significant cost reduction, increased sustainability and reduced environmental impact obtained by processing the materials and devices from solution. At the same time, the availability of materials in solution, in the form of inks, allows for the low-cost and high output processing of films by printing techniques. The solution processing of the devices accounts for vast design flexibility and a significant scalability. This technology also enables the outsourcing of the material/ink production from the device processing chain. Moreover, flexible shape-adaptable substrates can be used, allowing for the optimum coupling of sensor, battery and thermoelectric device even on 3D structures






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