Packaging materials see developments in their technology as much as the things they protect. Innovative materials in packaging focus on how they make purchasing and shipping safer and more convenient, both for the sellers and buyers. Kaolin is one of the rising materials in the industry, becoming subjects of various recent studies in packaging materials.
Here are the breakdowns based on the material innovations in recent packaging technology.
1. Biodegradable and Compostable Materials
Biodegradable and compostable packaging is considered environmentally friendly and a better option for food safety. Many current studies focus on how to create biodegradable packaging with better antibacterial elements. Kaolin is one of the innovative materials in packaging studied for this purpose.
For example, a 2023 study published in the Food Chemistry journal showed the positive result combining kaolin clay and fig extract in chitosan food packaging. In the experiment, the biodegradable packaging was able to keep the freshness of apple slices wrapped.
2. Recycled and Recyclable Materials
Companies have started to consider recycled and recyclable materials as parts of their packaging. A 2019 study published on Applied Clay Science showed that modified kaolin clay can be used as an effective mixture for recycled paper. The result is a paper with stronger, more pliant structure, which can be developed into packaging material.
Adding kaolin clay into the recycled paper can also improve the waterproof quality. If the use becomes more widespread, it can reduce the need for new paper material for packaging. Using kaolin-enhanced recycled paper can also reduce waste, which is important as global customers depend even more on online shopping.
3. Active and Intelligent Packaging
Packaging technology is more than just wrapping goods. Innovative materials in packaging can improve the shelf life or detect the condition of the products and the environment surrounding them. With the rising numbers of global trade, especially in the food and beverage industry, active and intelligent packaging becomes more important.
These packaging technologies work by releasing specific substances to stop degradations in food. For example, they can stop bacterial activities, moisture loss, or lipid extraction that spoil the products.
Kaolin can be applied to enhance the function of active and intelligent packaging. For example, silver kaolinite has a potential to improve the shelf life and quality of raw meat. A 2022 study on silver kaolinite packaging showed that it has antibacterial potentials. However, further study is required to produce such packaging in large numbers.
4. Edible and Water-soluble Packaging
Conversation about innovative materials in packaging has included edible and water-soluble packaging. It has come up in studies and even testing about edible packaging that can dissolve in hot food or liquid. The idea is to reduce plastic waste by creating materials that are strong enough to serve as a packaging, yet can dissolve safely even when eaten.
Materials for edible packaging are usually made of protein, either animal or plant-based. While this is not a new concept, adding kaolin might contribute to the heat-sealing ability of the edible packaging. This could expand the possibilities of edible packaging technology in the future.
5. Nanotechnology-based Packaging
Innovative materials in packaging include nanotechnology, which has potential to improve the barrier properties of the material. When added to polymer chains, nano particles create better tensile strength and less permeable layer. Nanotechnology can also protect food, beverages, and produce by creating better protection toward dust, air, and dirt.
Kaolin clay can work as nanoparticles. Incorporating them into packaging material could better protect the goods from moisture, dust, and other elements. While this still needs further studies, kaolin clay has a bright future in nanotechnology application for packaging materials.
6. Sustainable Alternatives
Sustainable alternatives in packaging are more important than ever. As there are no goods that can survive shipment, storage, and selling without packaging, the better alternative is creating a sustainable option. Packaging must be done with as little material as possible without sacrificing protection, or using eco-friendly materials.
In Europe, sustainable packaging technology focuses on recyclable and renewable materials. Cellulose and fiber-based materials have become the center of research and development. Other materials to consider include leaves, grasses, and straws. Organic waste such as recycled wood and cocoa beans waste are also under research and development for their potential as packaging materials.
As a naturally-acquired mineral, kaolin has potentials to be included in sustainable packaging technology. It could strengthen the structures of certain sustainable materials such as recycled paper, reducing the permeability factor while protecting the goods inside.
If you are interested in the future of packaging technology, you can invest in industry-grade kaolin. Yukami is an Indonesia-based kaolin supplier with clients on a global level, including in China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. High quality kaolin powder, lump, and noodles are available for various industry needs, making Yukami a perfect partner in your business venture.
The development of innovative materials in packaging grew fast, following the rising trend of online shopping. Start making an investment in kaolin distribution if you want to gain profits from the rising packaging technology.