FDF Event

Biobased Materials Used in Food Contact Applications Workshop


With the negative press surrounding the use of plastics and their damaging impact on the environment there is once again an increased impetus to develop new materials. Over 15 years ago a publication “Food Additives & Contaminants in 2002” identified that food packaging materials based on renewable resources were being developed at increasing rates.

Why then is cellulose the only biobased food packaging material being used on a commercial scale, especially when considering that there are potentially many renewable resource materials that could be used such as proteins, starch, polylacate and other renewable materials as alternatives to oil-based materials.

Biobased materials are derived from biological renewable resources (biomass). Increased use of these materials to develop bio-based products is considered desirable as a means of achieving a more sustainable circular economy, to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact.

If biobased materials are to be used in food contact materials the food industry (retailers, processors and manufacturers), packaging industry, academia and the UK Government need to have a clear understanding of any potential risks and unintended consequences of replacing established oil-based plastic food contact materials with biobased materials.

To provide this clear and more in depth understanding of the potential risks and consequences Fera Science Ltd conducted research into ‘Biobased Materials Used in Food Contact Applications’ with one sole aim, to provide recommendations that will support future development work and subsequent adoption of biobased food contact materials.

So what’s next...

At Fera our vision ‘protecting you, what you eat and the world in which you live’ being true to our heritage our continued successes has helped us to address some of today’s biggest challenges, including coping with the impact of global population growth and the need to make efficient sustainable use of natural resources made us the ideal science organisation to conduct this research. Now we want to spread the word, we want to:

  • Bring together parties from UK industry and academia with expertise in the development, evaluation and impact assessment of bio-based food contact materials.

  • Provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art, ongoing developments and horizon scanning for emerging trends in food packaging development.

  • Identify any key issues preventing/delaying entry of biobased food contact materials to the market.

  • Discuss and identify gaps in our current knowledge and what science and evidence is needed to ensure that these products meet the safety requirements for food contact.

Fera Science Limited would like to invite you to our workshop to discuss our findings and give your voice to the discussion and inclusion in the post meeting report. For more details and to offer a presentation, please contact Graham Bonwick at graham.bonwick@fera.co.uk

Register now


A limited number of places are available for this workshop, so register today to avoid disappointment. 

For any further information then please contact us at futurepack@fera.co.uk

This event is supported by funding from the Food Standards Agency’s Strategic Evidence Fund.


Organiser: Graham Bonwick, graham.bonwick@fera.co.uk