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IAPRI’s 28th Symposium* in Lausanne, Switzerland (9-12 May 2017) offered a rich array of oral and poster presentations, keynote addresses – not to mention sponsors – many of them linked by the theme of ‘Unlocking the full potential of packaging across the value chain’.
Yves Wyser of Nestlé’s Research Center in Lausanne says:“there were 99 papers in total, out of which 69 are oral presentations and 29 are posters, plus the IAPRI Scholarship presentation. Of the oral papers, 16 went through the peer-review stream.”
Keynote speeches paved the way for the full programme of oral presentations on each of the three days.There were also be poster sessions, with the authors on hand, on the Wednesday and Thursday.
The winner of the 2016 IAPRI Student Exchange Scholarship Niels Brouwers, of the University of Hasselt, Belgium, presented the results of his research project at Cal Poly, California. Brouwers has been researching the effect of metal organic framework (MOF) particles on the crystallisation of polylactide (PLA).
“Finally, when it’s time to relax, there was always be the breathtaking views over beautiful Lac Leman as a backdrop,” says Wyser.
He adds:“The value-chain theme of the Symposium was reflected in our selection of sponsors and partners, too. They represent raw-material suppliers (Dow Chemical and Stora Enso), converters (Mondi), packaging machinery suppliers (Bosch), test equipment providers (Presens, Shinyei and Lansmont), transport-monitoring equipment suppliers (NV Logistics), education (HES-SO) and end users (Nestlé Research).
*The IAPRI Symposium was hosted by the School of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD) Western Switzerland and Nestle Research.
IAPRI’s June Conference was successful on many levels, but may also be remembered as the first event to feature a trial Academia Meets Industry session.
As the name suggests, the aim is to bridge the gap between industry’s needs and the research capabilities of IAPRI member organizations and university departments. “The central idea is to create an opportunity to encourage collaboration,” says co-organizer of the session, Yves Wyser of Nestlé Research Center.
An audience of around 30 heard three five-minute presentations. Two of these were from academia, seeking industry partners to take their projects a step further. Dan Xu of Southwest University, Chongqing, China, talked about nanomaterial applications in food packaging, and Cristina Guzman of UDEM, Mexico, presented on the characterization of Mexican roads.
Frank Zeng of York Colour, Jinjian, China, reciprocated by outlining his company’s needs regarding cost-effective light barrier in beverage packaging.
Helping to coordinate the new event were Jun Wang of Jiangnan University, China, and Tamal Ghosh of Omya Singapore. The idea had been proposed in previous years, but has only now come to fruition.
“Attendees welcomed the initiative, which will be pursued at future IAPRI events,” says Wyser. Format and frequency are still being discussed, he adds. Suggestions can be addressed to the organizers via Secretary General Ed Church: firstname.lastname@example.org
The IAPRI Student Exchange Scholarship for the 2018-’19 academic year has been awarded to Wanjun Chu of Linköping University, Sweden, for his proposal to investigate the influence of on-pack information on consumers’ food waste behavior.
He says he is “excited and grateful” to have this opportunity, and plans to spend time at Karlstad University, also in Sweden, and RMIT University, Australia. The Scholarship, worth $7,000, is generously sponsored by PepsiCo.
In his video presentation, pitched to an IAPRI judging panel during the Zhuhai Conference, he pointed out that there was an urgent need to develop improved understanding of how packaging attributes affect behavior around food waste in different contexts. The proposal is to focus on date-related on-pack information on dairy products. As he notes, studies have shown that the date label triggers as much as a third of avoidable household food waste in the UK.
One concern is that products which have been correctly stored are thrown away, even though perfectly edible, simply because the ‘best before’ date (but not the ‘use by’ date) has expired. Wanjun Chu first plans to interview experienced design masters students at Linköping for feedback on methodology. At Karlstad and RMIT, the aim is to recruit around 10 households in each location and spend three or four months assessing the impact of date information on behavior and exploring possible adjustments to on-pack design.
Design options could include a calendar-style visualization of ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates or a QR code link to a webpage with more detailed information on storage and shelf-life.
Activity Theory will be used to interpret collected data. A design ethnography approach will be applied in order to address challenges of accurate self-reporting and motivation among consumers.