Phone: (+39) 0250316659
Fax: (+39) 0250316672
Email: packlab@unimi.it
Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milano (Italy)

Packlab is located inside the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Milan, quite close to Milano down town, in the district named "Città Studi", the town of students. It belongs to DISTAM, the Department of Food Science and Microbiology. Packlab is active since 1985 and from then till now an intense activity of both applied research and specialist teaching has been carried out.


Final undergraduated and graduated projects are considered to be an important moment of the food packaging experts education process. Packlab has been always very active in following students during their experimental works.
From 19
85 to 2008, more than 210 students accomplished their final projects in the Packlab.


Up to now, five 3-years doctorate thesis have been prepared within the Packlab, approaching interdisciplinary and very actual topics of food packaging. They dealt with the following subjects:

  1. "Performance and effectiveness of oxygen scavengers in critical food applications" (Dr. Sara Limbo PhD, 2004)
  2. "Different approaches for shelf life extension of a typical regional product" (Dr. Stefano Farris PhD, 2006)
  3. "Evaluation of light effects on photosensitive food pigments and protection efficacy of packaging solutions" (Dr. Luisa Torri PhD, 2007)
  4. "Functional Bio-Based Materials for Active Food Packaging Applications, through Controlled Release of Natural Antimicrobials" (Dr. Erika Mascheroni PhD, 2008)
  5. "Innovative approaches and instruments in modelling and monitoring the shelf life of packaged perishable foods (Dr.Pietro Lamiani, started december 2008)

During the last 10 years we tried as much as possible to establish relationships with foreign Universities deeply involved, as we are, in food packaging research and teaching. The main aim is to make possible a frequent exchange of graduated students and to invite in our lab visiting professors. At the moment we have stable partnerships with the following Universities abroad:

  1. Ecole Superieure d'Ingenieurs En Emballage et Conditionnement, Reims - France
  2. Kyungnam University, Division of Life Sciences, Masan - South Korea
  3. Montpellier University, Agropolymers Engineering and Emerging Technologies. Montpellier – France
  4. Rutgers University, Department of Food Science, New Brunswick, NJ – USA
  5. University of Zaragoza, Centro Politécnico Superior de Ingenieros, Zaragoa - Spain

Very often, at the end of a research project, the matter of intellectual property rights becomes a priority, especially when companies are involved in funding the research or when the achievements definitely seem as readily practical or applicable.
Researchers from Packlab appears as inventors or owners in the following National and International patents related to food packaging materials and technologies:

  1. Piergiovanni, L., Vismara, M. A. 1994. Procedimento e dispositivo per incrementare la conservabilità di pani, pani speciali, prodotti da forno lievitati, cotti e parzialmente cotti, confezionati in atmosfera modificata. Brevetto italiano n° MI 94 A 000158. Depositato il 31 gennaio 1994.
  2. Piergiovanni, L., Lanzani, F., Mauri, R., Brazzoli, M., Fava, P. (2000). A tray of a thermoplastic material for the packaging of foodstuffs which tend to release bad smelling volatile substances. BREVETTO EUROPEO N° 00830018.8-2308
  3. Piergiovanni, L.,, Mostardini, F., Garavaglia, L., Brazzoli, M. 2001. Use of a tray made of substantially open cell expanded plastics material in the packaging of vegetables. European Patent n°01830607.6-1523
  4. Nicolais, L., Piergiovanni, L., Del Nobile, A.M., Buonocore, G.G. Fava, P. 2002 . Sistema di confezionamento innovativo per la riduzione di naringina in succhi di frutta freschi. Italian Patent n° RM2002A000532 depositato il 21.012002
  5. Farris S., Piergiovanni L., Ronchi G., Rocca R. 2008 International Patent WO 2008/075396 A1: "Edible matrices and relevant applications and preparation method".
  6. Farris S., Piergiovanni L., Ronchi G., Rocca R., Introzzi L. Domanda di brevetto nazionale MI2009A000126 dal titolo: "LACCHE DA MACROMOLECOLE NATURALI, AD EFFETTO BARRIERA AI GAS, MODULABILE IN SITU, E RELATIVI METODI DI PREPARAZIONE.
  7. Carcano C. Mascheroni E. Starch-based compositions and related use and obtainment process. Application number WO2008EP50805 20080124, Priority number(s): PT20070103646 20070126; IT2007MI00457 20070307.

During the last years, several contract agreements have been signed with both food and packaging companies. These contracts were the opportunity for finding economic resources to carry out scientific research but, mainly, they represented the chance for a better understanding of the technical problems in the food packaging area and to get an improved capacity of being really effective in technology transfer. A list of the main Companies with which Packlab collaborated in these last years is provided below:

  1. AMB srl, San Daniele del Friuli (UD), Italy
  2. BARILLA spa, Parma, Italy
  3. BOREALIS AG, 1220 Vienna (A)
  4. COLUSSI ERMES srl, Casarsa della Delizia (PN) , Italy
  5. COMSET spa, Settimo Torinese (TO) , Italy
  6. Convertidora, S.A. de C.V. Guadalajara, Jalisco, (MX)
  7. CSI spa – Gruppo IMQ, Bollate (MI) , Italy
  8. EURO ECOLOGICAL srl, Chiusi (SI) , Italy
  9. FERRERO spa, Alba (CN) , Italy
  10. FLAEM NUOVA spa, S. Martino della Battaglia (BS) , Italy
  11. GOGLIO spa, Daverio (VA) , Italy
  12. GRANMILANO spa, Milano, Italy
  13. ITP spa Bosnasco (PV) , Italy
  14. METALVUOTO spa, Roncello (BG) , Italy
  15. NABA CARNI spa, Rezzato (BS), Italy
  16. PACK.Co srl, Milano, Italy
  17. PBI-DANSENSOR ITALIA srl, San Felice Segrate (MI) , Italy
  18. PROTECO srl, Milano, Italy
  19. ROVAGNATI spa, Biassonio (MI), Italy
  20. SEALED AIR Corporation spa, Passirana di Rho (MI) , Italy
  21. SIG COMBIBLOC srl, Milano, Italy
  22. SIRAP GEMA spa, Verolanuova (BS) , Italy
  23. SPECCHIASOL srl, Bussolengo (VR), Italy
  24. VELP srl, Usmate (MI), Italy
  25. VINTEC srl, Milano, Italy

Institutions, organizations and other bodies with social or representative significance are very important and active in the food packaging area. Packlab always tried to maintain positive relationships with them. Here below a short list of organizations with which we entertain some kind of collaboration is reported:

  1. ASSOFOODTEC, the Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries for Food Processing
  2. Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Craft Trade and Agriculture of Milan
  3. CNR, the National Research Council
  4. CRA, the Agricultural Research Council
  5. GIFLEX, The group of Italian Flexible Materials Producers
  6. III, The Italian Packaging Institute
  7. IPACK-IMA International xibition for Processing, Packaging & Material handling
  8. ISS, the technical body of Italian National Health Service; Dept. of Environment and Primary Prevention
  9. PVC Information Centre
  10. SARDEGNA RICERCHE, the regional organization to promote research and technology transfer
  11. SSCCP, the Italian Pulp and Paper Research Institute

State-funded and EU-funded researches generally provide less than half of our budget, being the contract agreements with companies prevalent on public funding very often. However, their importance is huge for the qualification that these funded projects bring to the laboratory and also for the opportunity of exchange experiences and ideas with similar institutions. The list below account just for the most important funded research of the last ten year:

  1. 2009: Regional-funded project - "Qualità e Sicurezza dei prodotti vegetali minimamente trattati (IV gamma) attraverso imballaggi plastici con proprietà modulate (VEGAPACK)"
  2. 2008: EU Project FP7 KBBE-2007-2-4-04: Innovative and safe packaging: Natural Antimicrobials For Innovative and Safe Packaging NAFISPACK
  3. 2008: Regional-funded project - Fondazione Cariplo "Acido polilattico (PLA) nanocomposito ad architettura molecolare modificata per alte prestazioni nel packaging"
  4. 2006: State-funded project - FIRST: Sistemi a rilascio controllato di agenti antimicrobici ed antiossidanti nell’affinamento e nella conservazione del vino.
  5. 2004: Regional-funded project - Fondazione Cariplo: "Imballaggi plastici per alimenti: additivi macromolecolari a basso coefficiente di diffusione e basso rischio di contaminazione".
  6. 2004: Regional-funded project - Fondo Sociale Europeo e Regione Lombardia "Azioni integrate di sviluppo tecnologico nell’utilizzo di materiali poliolefinici ad alta riciclabilità per imballaggio alimentare e farmaceutico-biomedicale".
  7. 2003: State-funded project - FIRST: "Sicurezza degli alimenti confezionati. Contaminazione chimica dai materiali di confezionamento. Modellazione del fenomeno e previsione del rischio".
  8. 2002: State-funded project - COFIN 40%: "Studio degli effetti di basse e bassissime pressioni di ossigeno sulle caratteristiche chimiche e microbiologiche di alimenti confezionati".
  9. 2001: State-funded project - FIRST: "Confronto tra differenti sistemi modello per la valutazione della migrazione di plastificanti da materiali plastici per il confezionamento alimentare. Influenza della natura chimica e fisica della fase di contatto".
  10. 2000: State-funded project - "Giovani Ricercatori": " Materiali innovativi per il confezionamento alimentare: Studio delle prestazioni funzionali di nuovi coatings a base di titanio".
  11. 2000: State-funded project - MURST 60% : "Diffusione di additivi plastificanti di materiali plastici per il confezionamento alimentare. Confronto tra sistemi modello e sistemi reali".
  12. 1999: EU Project FP5 FAIR CT 98-4170: "Evaluating safety, effectiveness , economic-environmental impact and consumer acceptance of active and intelligent packaging, for amending european food packaging regulations". ACTIPACK