Seizing Opportunities In Sustainable Food Packaging
12 May 2021
With R&D and licensing support from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), local enterprise Aegis Packaging has developed a breakthrough solution that is better for the environment and keeps food fresher for longer.
A NEW BARRIER COATING TECHNOLOGY
The packaging industry is facing ever-increasing pressure to reduce plastic waste and pollution and contribute to a circular economy. In particular, the food industry is one of the highest users of packaging material 1. Mono-material packaging, composed of only a single type of material, has been lauded as a highly viable route to a circular economy as it makes waste sorting easier and leads to cleaner recycling streams. Fresh food, snack food and confectionery manufacturers are predicted to be the largest users of such packaging. However, current mono-materials have technical limitations, for example their efficiency in preventing the diffusion of oxygen is less than optimal, which could lead to oxidation and degradation of perishables like food.
Recognising the food industry’s unmet need for packaging that is both effective and readily recyclable, Aegis Packaging developed O₂X™, an oxygen barrier coating technology. When applied onto mono-material packaging, the oxygen barrier coating protects the package contents from oxidisation and contamination.
BUILDING ON A SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION WITH A*STAR
To kickstart its foray into the packaging industry, Aegis Packaging licensed technologies from A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE). The local enterprise licensed oxygen barrier films as well as oxygen scavenging materials, which are added to enclosed packaging to remove or decrease the level of oxygen in the package. Aegis worked with IMRE to develop its first product, its O₂X™ oxygen barrier coating.
To date, Aegis Packaging has attracted over $6.3 million in investments and garnered interest from several industry players to collaborate on R&D. In early 2021, Aegis Packaging was selected to join the Plug and Play accelerator programme, a global innovation platform that opens up opportunities to connect with the world's largest corporations. Riding on the successful launch of its O₂X™ product, Aegis is set to emerge stronger in the year ahead.
“The Oxygen Barrier Coating technology from A*STAR enabled Aegis Packaging to enter the world market of flexible packaging, by offering a distinctively cost effective and convenient solution to the growing problem of plastic waste. The IMRE research team provided strong technical support in the development of the technology. It has been an enjoyable partnership.”
Mr Andrew Ong, Business Development Director of Aegis Packaging