Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Nfinite Nanotech

Eco-friendly nanocoatings for food packaging


Could these flexible coatings help us ditch plastic wrappers for good?

Spotted: One of the biggest obstacles facing companies who want to reduce their reliance on virgin, fossil-derived plastics is finding an alternative that performs just as well when it comes to packaging food. Because greener materials like paper or cardboard don’t block moisture or oxygen, they aren’t suitable for storing food for longer than a few hours. That’s something Nfinite Nanotech wants to change.

The University of Waterloo spinout has developed an ultra-thin nanocoating that can be used to line paper, compostable biopolymers, and recyclable plastics to provide a protective barrier against moisture and air, giving food products a longer shelf life. The coating is both compostable and recyclable, meaning that the final packaging can be disposed of sustainably or repurposed, unlike most plastic-lined containers. Already approved by the FDA, the nanocoating also has antimicrobial properties and is resistant to UV.

Nfinite’s flexible nanocoating, which is 1000 times thinner than a human hair, is durable enough to withstand extra manufacturing processes, so users can adapt the coating for their use case. The coating is produced using Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (SALD), where sheets of atoms are layered on top of one another. But unlike common ALD practices, Nfinite doesn’t need a vacuum chamber and can instead be produced in the open air. This means packaging manufacturers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands can easily integrate it into their production lines.

Last month, the startup completed a $6.5 million seed funding round led by Collateral Good and the money will help Nfinite scale operations and R&D efforts.

Written By: Matilda Cox




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