Dr. María José Galotto was appointed as the national contact person for the Horizon Framework Program 2020, a European body that funds research, development and innovation in different disciplines.
The National Scientific and Technological Research Commission (Conicyt) recently appointed Dr. María José Galotto, Director of the Packaging Laboratory (Laben) of our University, as the National Contact Person for the Horizon Framework Program 2020 in the area of nanotechnology, advanced materials and advanced fabrication and processing.
Dr. Galotto stated that this appointment “is a recognition of the University’s positioning in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology through the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA), which has been working strongly in the application of nanotechnology in diverse areas of knowledge. With this appointment a new line of research and positioning has been consolidated”.
To the above can be added the work carried out over the years by Laben as embodied in several projects, ISI publications and patents, which have in turn have translated into a very close relationship with agrofood industry and established Laben as a transformer of food packaging at the national and regional levels.
The Packaging Laboratory was invited to join the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes (IAPRI), which can only be joined by invitation, so that this invitation also represents recognition of our University at an international level.
Another notable aspect of this appointment is that this area has a great future for food science and technology, because of which having the possibility of knowing in greater depth other research groups, both national and international in this field will strengthen the links between the academics of our University and their peers.
Among the responsibilities associated with membership is to promote the participation of nanotechnology research groups in the Horizon Framework Program 2020, in which Chile will be able to participate with the same advantages as any other member country of the European Union.
With respect to the latter, the researchers indicated that “to date we have had an initial working meeting at Conicyt and anticipate other meetings for the second semester both here in Chile and in Europe”.
Introduction to Nanotechnology
According to the researcher “nanotechnology is going to position us in the agrofood industry as an alternative for developing foods with better sensorial and nutritive characteristics, safer and with longer shelf-life”.
Dr. Galotto noted that the University is well advanced in this area given that the packaging laboratory has been working for several years in applying nanotechnology to food packaging.
Laben has led different studies that have applied nanotechnology, as in the development of packaging with antimicrobial activity that extends the shelf life of packaged foods like salmon or reduces the levels of compounds that accelerate ripening of climacteric fruits like kiwi or avocado.