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European Packaging Institute (EPI)
Reports, News, Notifications - English Edition 1/2008

International Standard for Tracing Systems

The ISO/TC 34/WG 29 standard, which determines the principles and requirements that tracing systems must correspond to and fulfill, has been developed through international cooperation. Already during its development, it was coordinated at the European level, especially taking into consideration Directive (EC) No. 178/2002 of the European Parliament and the Council of January 28, 2002, the establishment of the European Food Safety Authority and procedures for ensuring food safety.
In addition to the principles and the basic requirements, the standard takes into consideration the goals that are to be achieved with the tracing systems, the special requirements of internal audits and the evaluation of the results. The standard is intended for organizations that are active at different levels of the feed and food chain and provides suggestions for all areas in which tracing must be ensured - taking into consideration the raw materials, the intermediate and end products, as well as the packaging materials and packaging means.
The standard is titled ISO 22005:2007-10 Traceability in the Feed and Food Chain - General Principles and Basic Requirements for the Design and Realization of Systems.

Revision of ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 standard, which is still valid in its version of the year 2000 and in this form provides the basis for the certification of quality management systems, is currently being revised. An intermediate result is the draft ISO 9001:2007-10. It ensures the compatibility with ISO 14001 from the year 2004 and improves the still valid version through specification, more understandable statements and the evaluation of experiences that have been gained when applying the standard in practice.

The "Bioplastic PLA” Project

Institutes and companies from 6 European countries are participating in a research project that is being carried out as the Cornet Project "Bioplastic PLA" during the years 2008 and 2009. The studies, in which specialists from Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Poland and Slovenia have been included, range from the market analysis and the study of the raw materials to the recycling and utilization of the PLA products.
The research project consists of 6 work packages that build on each other. The first of these packages deals with the market analysis and the selection of polylactid types for the further studies. In the second work package, these polylactid types are examined to see if they conform to the data sheets and preconditions are created for the European standards. In the third work package, a study is undertaken of the possibilities that exist for processing the selected polylactid types, especially through injection molding, deep drawing, blow molding and extrusion. In the fourth work package, the influence of the processing procedures on the characteristics of the material is tested. The fifth work package concerns testing during use. The main emphasis thereby lies on the suitability of these bioplastics for packaging food as well as the European standards for testing bioplastics.
The main goals of the sixth work package are to determine the conditions for the biotic degradability and the development of concepts for the inclusion of polylactid in the closed- cycle economy. A CO2 lifecycle analysis is planned.
For further information, please visit www.bio-packing.at

EUREKA Projects for the Promotion of the Packaging

During the last four years, the Polish Packaging Research and Development Center COBRO has processed four research topics of the EUREKA Program. The issue of the use of can lacquer was studied, as was the testing of the protective function and possible improvements of the quality of food packaging and the development of multi-layer packaging materials made of renewable raw materials.
The goal of the CANBA Project, which was carried out in cooperation with the Swedish Packaging Institute PACKFORSK and which dealt with the raw material for food cans, was to increase the food safety by minimizing the migration conditions. The results of the research are testing procedures to determine the concentration of problematic substances in can lacquer for beverage cans that can be used by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and conclusions for the production of can lacquers based on epoxy resin.
The "EUROTEST" Project, which also was carried out together with PACKFORSK, served to develop test procedures to determine the suitability of the packaging of consumer goods for distribution in Europe. The studies, in which the dangers during transport on the road were taken into special consideration, were carried out on household goods and electronic consumer goods.
In a third project entitled "Shopping Basket", which was carried out together with PACKFORSK, possibilities for the improvement of the packaging for various food manufacturers from both countries were studied in connection with the ecological, economic and logistical requirements in the European Union.
Together with the Center for Polymer Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and manufacturers of multilayer films, a EUREKA project was also carried out regarding the topic of "Multilayer Packaging Materials made of Renewable Raw Materials". The main result of this project is the manufacture of a multilayer packaging material made of paper and of a new generation of biodegradable polymers - a procedure for which a patent has already been filed in Poland. COBRO has also had remarkable results when conducting research for the development of packaging in the country, when testing and certifying packaging and packaging machines and when developing standards. The research program "Packaging as Stimulus for Economic Growth in the Region and for Improved Environmental Protection" thus provided important suggestions for the development of packaging in Poland.

EU plastics directive formulated more precisely

The fourth change to the European plastics directive was a topic of the latest deliberations of the Working Group Environment and Product Safety of the German Packaging Institute. The special importance of this directive for the use of plastic materials that come into contact with food, which was enacted under the designation 2002/72/EC, was thereby emphasized. The participants in the deliberations specifically emphasized the specification of the directive by introducing the term "functional barriers" and by suggesting a fat reduction factor and a simulated medium for milk. At the same time, it was noted that in the future, more details for confirmations of conformity are needed. Functional barriers must ensure that not more than 0.01 mg/kg of the food migrates. 50% ethanol is suggested as a simulated medium for milk.

Progress through insights regarding commodity science

As a result of an evaluation of the studies regarding commodity science in the Leipzig higher education, a new anthology has been published in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Leipzig entitled "Aspects of Commodity Science" with the subtitle "The Commodity Science Research and Education in Leipzig in the Service of Practical Applications". The anthology is based on the selection of publications that were presented in 2007 under the title "Aspects of Commodity Science I - Results of the Commodity Science Research and Education in Leipzig".

Based on articles, reports, reviews and information, the new selection of publications reveals the progress in the economy that is possible through commodity science insights. An article entitled "Research Journeys with Benefits for Science and for Practical Applications", in conjunction with special reports about the research and about the colloquia that were held to evaluate the journeys, provide an overview of important results. Examples are the insights that have been gained regarding the environmental influences on the quality of manufactured products, possible changes in quality during transport and storage, and the possibilities of preventing damage. During the course of the research journeys, 35,000 measured data regarding the transportation stresses were gained, 16,000 tests were carried out on the products that were transported and 3,000 quality changes and damages were observed. Questions regarding the development of standards and quality assurance are also given much attention. The importance of progress in the development of commodity systems, commodity testing, and commodity care for raising the level of the standards and of quality management is thereby demonstrated. The selection of publications includes commodity science studies for the areas of trademarks, inventions and patents.

Environmental labeling of products

The environmental labeling and declarations that have been suggested by the International Standardization Organization ISO will in future be the subject of a DIN standard. The standard has already been published by DIN, the German Institute for Standardization, as DIN ISO 14025:2007-10 with the title "Environmental Labeling and Declarations - Type III - Environmental Declarations - Principles and Procedures".
The standard fulfills the widespread demands for information regarding the environmental effects that may be caused by a product. The basis for the statements are ecological profiles, environmental declarations for products or environmental product declarations that make it possible to make ecological comparisons between similar products.

New standards for sensory tests

Two new norms for sensory tests have been introduced as DIN EN ISO 4120:2007-10 Sensory Analysis – Test Procedures - Triangular Testing and as ISO 5495:2007-10 Sensory Test Procedures - Comparative Testing by Pairs. The standardization of the basic concepts and the principles of sensory testing allows for the fact that these tests not only serve to determine faults that can be detected from the outside or changes in the products. The increasing demands placed on product quality increasingly results in higher demands when it comes to the quality and intensity of the sensory quality criteria, for example regarding changes in composition and technology as well as treatment, storage and packaging.

Ucherek, M.: Shelf-life of Food Products in Modified Atmosphere Packaging. 244 pages, 76 tables and 43 illustrations. Publishing House of the Cracow University of Economics (2007)

The newest book from the Packaging Department at the Cracow University of Economics is the result of the recent research studies regarding the shelf-life of food that have been packaged within an inert gas atmosphere. Based on solid theoretical studies and an evaluation of empirical studies, methods were developed by the Cracow Packaging Department for the reliable determination and monitoring of the shelf-life of products in the modified atmosphere. Peanuts were selected as an example of a category for the empirical studies. During the testing, the interactions between product, cryptoclimate, packaging and environmental conditions and their effects on the product quality were taken into consideration. As a result of the studies, the author demands that a new approach be taken to the testing of shelf-life of products in an inert gas atmosphere. Important results that were reached during the work so far in Cracow are a shortened test procedure for the determination of the shelf-life and simulation models and software for further studies, such as for the determination of the effects of possible influencing factors on the loss of shelf-life, on existing risks and on the choice of packaging. The "SHELF-LIFE-MAP" software that was developed in conjunction with the studies is to serve to make the determination and monitoring of the shelf-life simpler and more effective.

Progress in Chinese packaging production

Environmentally friendly packaging, gift packaging and new packaging means made of plastic constitute the main focus in the 2/2007 issue of the magazine "Hong Kong Packaging", which is published annually in two issues by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Further contributions in this edition are a preliminary report about the next packaging fair in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair from April 28 - May 1, 2008, as well as articles regarding packaging made of tin plate and wood that fulfill the requirements for export. The editorial contributions and many advertisements illustrate the progress in the Chinese packaging production of late. The contributions and advertisements are written in Chinese and English. Those interested in the issue can contact the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, 38th Floor, Office Tower, Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, Circulation Section, Publications Department, Fax (852) 2824 0249.

2007/08. Schweizer Verpackungs-Katalog. Jahrbuch für Design, Verpackungsmaterial und –technik [Swiss Packaging Catalog. Yearbook for Design, Packaging Material and Technology] 62nd Annual Edition. Laufenburg: Binkert Medien AG 2007. 136 pages. DIN A4

With the help of a list of the products and services and the companies that provide them in Switzerland, as well as selected company profiles, this catalog provides an overview of the packaging market in Switzerland that also takes into consideration representations by foreign companies. More than half of the text in the new issue consists of contributions that deal with developments in the area of packaging means, packaging aids and packaging machines, as well as company statements and advertisements. The editorial section deals especially with the questions of the design of packaging. Under the heading of "Trends", the reader can find contributions about "The Swiss Packaging Industry in Numbers" and "Swiss Packaging Machine Manufacturers: At the Cutting Edge" and under the heading "Packaging and Marketing" one finds contributions regarding packaging printing such as "Creating Identity with Forms and Colors", "Packaging Design for the Youngest Target Group" and "Exclusive Packaging with High Quality Characteristics and Additional Uses".

All about PU foam

The PDR Recycling GmbH + Co KG Thurnau Company has published a brochure under this title in German “Rund um PU- Schaum”, in which the industry solution for the collection and utilization of used polyurethane foam cans is presented. It can be requested under the address: Am alten Sägewerk 3, D-95349 Thurnau.