Melodea’s plant-based packaging barrier

Green-tech start-up Melodea is tackling plastic waste by entering into sustainable packaging, after developing MelOx, a plant-sourced barrier coating to protect packaged products from oxygen, oil and grease.

The company sources its barrier coating material for packaging from wood pulp, the same raw material used to make paper. This solution helps paper and packaging producers be “steered” towards more sustainable packaging routes and enable them to meet sustainability goals. The coatings are sustainable, recyclable and don’t contribute to plastic waste pollution.

“Cellulose, the primary building block of the cell walls of all plants, is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet,” explained Shaul Lapidot, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of Melodea.

“It provides plants with extraordinary strength, and is a lightweight—yet strong—material We found that this bounteous and renewable material can be utilized to produce novel, eco-friendly packaging alternatives for the packaging industry,” added Shaul Lapidot.

The company utilises proprietary technology to extract cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp sourced from trees grown in industrial forests. The sustainable barrier coatings are designed to offer protection from oxygen, oil, grease and water vapour transmission. The coatings help maintain the quality and integrity of the packaged foods inside, eliminating the need for aluminium and plastic.

“Consumers are imposing more strident demands when it comes to the welfare of the planet, and this increasingly resonates in their purchasing behavior,” added Dr. Lapidot. “Concurrently, the supply chain is ‘greening’ up its act, especially in light of legislative measures curbing plastic use. The Melodea barrier coating helps the packaging industry make a smoother shift from petroleum-based plastics to plant-based materials.”

The company’s liquid formulae can be applied as coating to various substrates including paper, paperboard, bio-plastic and plastic, serving companies across the packaging value chain from paper and packaging producers to consumer goods manufacturers and food companies. The high barrier coatings can be tailored to a range of packaging products including pouches, lids and food and beverage cartons.

Melodea was founded as a spin-off project at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem by Dr. Shaul Lapidot with the late Tord Gustafsson and Professor Oded Shoseyov. It was a winner of two awards in the packaging field; the Packaging Europe 2019 sustainability award and the WorldStar Award for 2020.

“We are positive that our products will make a tangible positive impact on reshaping the trillion-dollar packaging industry, helping to transform it into a more circular and sustainable industry,” concluded Dr. Lapidot.

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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