The CBQF Packaging & Materials Platform comprises highly experienced and skilled technical staff and supporting laboratory infrastructure required to characterise, develop and test materials and packages, regarding safety and food shelf-life. This Platform was designed and is managed in a flexible manner though observing important rules for assurance of the work quality and traceability. It combines resources required to carry-on research and teaching activities as well as to support advice to industry and market surveillance authorities. For this latter, the Platform hosts the Portuguese National Reference Laboratory for Food Contact Materials.
The CBQF Packaging & Materials Platform is able to support studies on the impact of the material, and of the packaging system as a whole, on the safety and food quality. As such, determination of the composition and migration from packaging into the food may be performed, on target and on non-target compounds such as non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), impurities and compounds resulting from interaction and degradation reactions. The instrumental analyses can be complemented with risk assessment of chemicals and the exposure to consumers to the migrants can be estimated through up-dated dedicated models. Determination of gas and moisture barrier properties, optimization of packaging conditions (such as modified atmosphere packaging and active packaging) and the impact of those on the food product shelf-life can also be studied, through chemical, microbiological and sensorial analyses. The platform also aims at the development of materials from vegetable food industry wastes for packaging applications.
The CBQF Packaging & Materials Platform is equipped with instruments for measuring permeability (oxygen and moisture in both films and packages) and in-pack gas composition measurement; migration and Franz cells for determinations of mass transfer through materials; gas chromatography coupled with a range of detectors (FID, Ion trap and triple quadrupole mass spectrometry), liquid chromatography (with DAD, RI and UV detectors), Atomic absorption and UV-VIS Spectrophotometry. Migration of nano-particles can be evaluated by DLS (dynamic light scattering) and ZP (zeta potential) and material characterization by SEM microscopy, (micro)-DSC and Infra-Red spectroscopy. The platform also holds humidity and temperature controlled storage and a MAP pilot-scale machine.
COORDINATION: Fátima Poças