FISH4FISHFISH4FISH: Fish Chitinolytic biowastes for fish active and sustainable packaging material.

Program: H2020-EMFF – Blue Economy 2018

Duration: 36 months, November 2019 - November 2020

Partners: University of Siena, University of Tuscia, Next Technology Tecnotessile, ANFACO CECOPESCA, CSIC, TECNOPACKAGING.

Target: The fish industry has a strThe fish industry has a strong need to improve marketability and to extend the shelf-life of fresh fish, shortened by microbial spoilage. At the same time, the size of this industry is so big that it produces huge amounts of plastic containers and more than 10,000 tons/year of shellfish food waste. Packaging plays a critical role in the fish supply chain and can be part of the solution to tackle food waste. The FISH4FISH project aims to produce innovative active and sustainable packaging material based on chitinolytic derivatives, using marine biomass wastes. Such packaging is able to tackle microbial spoilage, enhancing fish shelf life, and, in the post-consumption phase, once it is wasted, it can be used by consumers as fertilizer and microbial preservatives for plants. The project will leverage on the enormous biotechnological potential (prebiotic activity, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties) of the chitosan and above all chito-oligosaccharides.

Chitin obtained from marine biowastes will be treated to obtain colloidal chitin and its deacetylated forms, chitosan. Due to the hydrolytic activity of chitinases, chito-oligomers will be obtained. Lignin nanoparticles will be functionalized with chitooligosaccharides and used as active biofiller in the preparation of the new polymeric materials. Lignin functionalized nanoparticles will confer to antioxidant, antimicrobial, UV-shielding and improved mechanical properties. The ambitious objective of the FISH4FISH project is to obtain a low cost active material to be exploited for the industrial applications of fish packaging. In this way, renewable resources are exploited in a sustainable manner, promoting bio-based, environmentally friendly and beneficial technologies, and create high-performing materials for a wide range of applications. Fishing and distribution companies using such innovative packaging will be able to gain competitive market positions and to avoid theuse of plastics.