So far in the field of metal packaging little or nothing new had arrived on the market. But things are destined to change profoundly. A green and eco-friendly paint arrives from tomato peels. It is a coating of natural origin intended for metal packaging for foods. The product was born with Biocopac Plus project, funded by the EU, and is destined to revolutionise the packaging market for tinplate. It is safer for health, as it is bisphenol-free, reduces waste during tomato processing as well as CO2 emissions, with a view to bio-economy, a strategic priority for Europe. This is an Italian success, which is carefully considered by the markets throughout the world and is destined to materialise with industrial-scale production within a couple of years (presumably at the end of 2018).
The pilot plant, which was inaugurated last October at Canneto sull’Oglio, in the province of Mantova, at Virginio Chiesa’s farm, extracts cutin from tomato peel. It is biopolymer that responds well to corrosion. And it becomes the starting substance for the protective bio-paint that will be used in metal containers for foods. The advantages of this application concerns both food security and environmental impact. The studies that were carried out show that there is a reduction of CO2 emission, about 131 mg per can in contact with foods, with strong margins for improvement through industrialization of the process. In addition, tomato peels, after extraction of cutin, can be used as an energy source for the production of biogas. It is double enhancement.
However, the key factor consists in that this paint is bisphenol-free.