The National Commission of Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) awarded grants for 2011 in Support of International Linkages of Associative Research Centers and Groups. After evaluating the proposals received, it was decided to support five initiatives that seek to participate actively in associative international programs that will make the research of excellence undertaken in Chile better known and at the same time access cutting edge research carried out around the world.
Among the projects awarded is one presented by the researchers from the Center for Studies in Food Science and Technology (CECTA) and the Center for the Development of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (CEDENNA) through its line of research on food packaging.
Both institutions have worked for the last year with the Center for Packaging Technology (CETEA) in Brazil, a very prestigious institute at the national and international levels in the field of food packaging. Its main activities are linked to studies of the characterization of plastic, metallic, glass, paper and cardboard packaging materials and to studies related to the standards that regulate packaging that will be in contact with foods.
For the academic responsible for the packaging research line of CEDENNA and the director of the project in Chile, Dr. María José Galotto, the funding award represents a major support that will allow for exchange in training and information in the application of nanotechnology in the development of food packaging. “We expect that this project will allow us to deepen our studies related to the development of food packaging based on nanocomposites and active systems with the capacity for ethylene absorption oriented to packaging agricultural products, as well as providing the appropriate analytical techniques to quantify migrating species in materials based on nanocomposites” stated Dr. María José Galotto.
The person responsible for the project in Brazil is la Dr. Marisa Padula, who has extensive experience in developing food-packaging regulations in her role on the MERCOSUR Committee that develops packaging standards for the region.
One of the advantages of working with the Center for Packaging Technology of the Institute of Food Technology of Brazil is that they have the latest equipment and extensive knowledge about analytical techniques to characterize food packaging.
As well, this initiative will provide students and researchers from the Packaging Laboratory of the University of Santiago to go to CETEA in Brazil, as well as provide visits from Brazilian researchers to the USACH laboratories.
It is expected that at a meeting among the participating research centers will sign a cooperation agreement and an agreement to begin preparing a research project, whether with Chilean or Brazilian funds, or bilateral funding that will allow continuing with the joint work among the parti cipating institutions.