Development of innovative food packaging materials

This branch of our research aims to design and develop new packaging structures inspired to the packaging optimization concept, i.e. reducing the upstream amount of plastics while keeping (or even improving) the overall performance of the final package for the main shelf life extension goal. While several solutions are continuously conceived and tested, coating technology is by far the leading strategy adopted within our team. High performance coatings have been developed by different approaches, such as soft chemistry (e.g., sol-gel technology), hard chemistry (functionalization, grafting, etc.), and nanotechnology routes (bottom-up and top-down schemes).

Our main objectives:

  • Gas and vapor barriers
  • Optical properties
  • Anti-fog properties
  • Mechanical properties
  • Anti-scratch
  • Printability
  • Sealing
  • Friction
  • Adhesion


Polylactic acid (PLA), termoplastich starch, polysaccharides, biopolymers, nanocomposites, inorganic fillers, inorganic nanoparticles, modified nanoparticles, coatings, macromolecular antioxidants, encapsulation, nanostructures, oxygen barrier, surface properties


Members of the team

  • Stefano Farris


Rovera C., Türe H., Hedenqvist M., Farris S.* Water vapor barrier properties of wheat gluten/silica hybrid coatings on paperboard for food packaging applications. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 2020; 26, 100561. DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2020.100561.                                                                                                 

Sadat Razavi M., Golmohammadi A., Nematollahzadeh A. Fiori F., Rovera C., Farris S.* Preparation of cinnamon essential oil emulsion by bacterial cellulose nanocrystals and fish gelatin. Food Hydrocolloids, 2020; 109: 106111. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2020.106111.                                                                

Rovera C., Fiori F., Trabattoni S., Romano D., Farris S.* Enzymatic hydrolysis of bacterial cellulose for the production of nanocrystals for the food packaging industry. Nanomaterials, 2020; 10: 735-746. DOI: 10.3390/nano10040735 (OPEN ACCESS).

Rovera C., Ghaani M., Farris S.* Nano-inspired oxygen barrier coatings for food packaging applications: an overview. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 2020; 97: 210-220. DOI: 10.1016/j.tifs.2020.01.024.

Rovera C., Cozzolino C. A., Ghaani M., Morrone , Olsson R. T., Farris S.* Mechanical behavior of biopolymer composite coatings on plastic films by depth-sensing indentation - A nanoscale study. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2018; 512: 638-646. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.10.108

Uysal Unalan I., Boyacı D., Trabattoni S., Tavazzi S., Farris S.*Transparent pullulan/mica nanocomposite coatings with outstanding oxygen barrier properties. Nanomaterials, 2017; 7: 281-294. DOI: 10.3390/nano7090281 (OPEN ACCESS).

Uysal Unalan I., Boyaci D., Ghaani M., Trabattoni S., Farris S.* Graphene oxide bionanocomposite coatings with high oxygen barrier properties. Nanomaterials, 2016; 6: 244-254. DOI: 10.3390/nano6120244 (OPEN ACCESS).

Cozzolino C. A., Castelli G., Trabattoni S., Farris S.* Influence of colloidal silica nanoparticles on pullulan-coated BOPP film. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 2016; 8: 50-55. DOI: 10.1016/j.fpsl.2016.03.003

Cozzolino C. A.., Cozzolino C. A., Campanella G., Türe H., Olsson R. T., Farris S.* Microfibrillated cellulose and borax as mechanical, O2-barrier, and surface–modulating agents of pullulan biocomposite coatings on BOPP. Carbohydrate Polymers, 2016; 143: 179-187. DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2016.01.068

Uysal Unalan I., Wan C., Figiel L., Olsson R., Trabattoni S., Farris S.* Exceptional oxygen barrier performance of pullulan nanocomposites with ultra-low loading of graphene oxide. Nanotechnology, 2015; 26: 275707-275713 DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/26/27/275703

Uysal Unalan I., Wan C., Trabattoni S., Piergiovanni L., Farris S.* Polysaccharide-assisted rapid exfoliation of graphite platelets into high quality water-dispersible graphene sheets. RSC Advances, 2015; 5: 26482-26490. DOI: 10.1039/C4RA16947F (OPEN ACCESS).

Cozzolino C. A., Cerri G., Brundu A., Farris S.* Microfibrillated cellulose (MFC)—pullulan bionanocomposite films. Cellulose, 2014; 21: 4323–4335. DOI: 10.1007/s10570-014-0433-x

Uysal Unalan I., Wan C., Trabattoni S., Piergiovanni L., Farris S. Polysaccharide-assisted rapid exfoliation of graphite platelets into high quality water-dispersible graphene sheets. RSC Advances, 2015; 5: 26482-26490. DOI: 10.1039/C4RA16947F (OPEN ACCESS)

Uysal Unalan I., Cerri G., Marcuzzo E., Cozzolino C. A., Farris S. Nanocomposite films and coatings using inorganic nanobuilding blocks (NBB): current applications and future opportunities in the food packaging sector. RSC Advances, 2014; 4: 29393-29428. DOI:10.1039/C4RA01778A (OPEN ACCESS)

Farris S., Uysal Unalan I., Introzzi L., Fuentes-Alventosa J. M., Cozzolino C. A. Pullulan-based films and coatings for food packaging: present applications, emerging opportunities, and future challenges (INVITED REVIEW). Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2014; 131: 40539-40551. DOI: 10.1002/app.40539

Farris S., Pozzoli S., La Vecchia S., Biagioni P., Bianchi C. L., Piergiovanni L. Mapping physicochemical surface modifications of flame-treated polypropylene. Express Polymer Letters, 2014; 8: 256-266. DOI: 10.3144/expresspolymlett.2014.29 (OPEN ACCESS)

Fuentes-Alventosa J. M., Introzzi L., Santo N., Cerri G., Brundu A., Farris S. Self-assembled nanostructured biohybrid coatings by an integrated ‘sol-gel – intercalation’ approach. RSC Advances, 2013; 3: 25086-25096. DOI: 10.1039/C3RA45640D

Cozzolino C. A., Nilsson F., Iotti M., Sacchi B., Piga A., Farris S. Exploiting the nano-sized features of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) for the development of controlled release packaging. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2013; 110: 208-216. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2013.04.046

Türe H., Blomfeldt T. O. J., Gällstedt M., Hedenqvist M. S., Farris S. Nanostructured silica/wheat gluten hybrid materials prepared by catalytic sol-gel chemistry. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 2013: 214: 1131-1139. DOI: 10.1002/macp.201200646

Introzzi L., Fuentes-Alventosa J. M., Cozzolino C. A., Trabattoni S., Tavazzi S., Bianchi, C. L., Schiraldi A., Piergiovanni L., Farris S. ‘Wetting enhancer’ pullulan coating for anti-fog packaging applications. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2012; 4: 3692-3700. DOI: 10.1021/am300784n

Cozzolino C.A., Blomfeldt T.O.J., Nilsson F., Piga A., Piergiovanni L., Farris S. Dye release behavior from polyvinyl alcohol films in  a hydro-alcoholic medium: influence of physicochemical heterogeneity. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 2012; 403: 45-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfa.2012.03.054

Farris S., Mora L., Capretti G., Piergiovanni L. Charge density quantification of polyelectrolyte polysaccharides by conductometric titration: an analytical chemistry experiment. Journal of Chemical Education, 2012; 89 (1): 121-124. DOI: 10.1021/ed200261w

Farris S., Introzzi L., Biagioni P., Holz T., Schiraldi A., Piergiovanni L. Wetting of biopolymer coatings: contact angle kinetics and image analysis investigation. Langmuir, 2011; 27 (12): 7563-7574. DOI: 10.1021/la2017006

Farris S., Schaich K.M., Cooke P., Liu L., Piergiovanni L., Yam K.L. Gelatin-pectin composite films from polyion complex hydrogels. Food Hydrocolloids, 2011; 25 (1):61-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodhyd.2010.05.006

Farris S., Pozzoli S., Biagioni P., Duò L., Mancinelli S., Piergiovanni L. The fundamentals of flame treatment for the surface activation of polyolefin polymers – a review. Polymer, 2010; 51 (16): 3591-3605. DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2010.05.036

Farris S., Cozzolino C.A., Introzzi L., Piergiovanni L. Development of a gelatin-based coating with unique sealing properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 2010; 118 (5): 2969-2975. DOI: 10.1002/app.32708

Farris S., Song J., Huang Q. Alternative reaction mechanism for the crosslinking of gelatin with glutaraldehyde. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2010; 58 (2): 998-1003. DOI: 10.1021/jf9031603

Farris S., Schaich K.M., Liu L., Piergiovanni L., Yam K.L. Development of polyion-complex hydrogels as an alternative approach forthe production of bio-based polymers for food packaging applications: a review. Trends in Food Science and Technology, 2009; 20: 316-332. DOI: 10.1016/j.tifs.2009.04.003

Farris S., Cozzolino C.A., Introzzi L., Piergiovanni L. Effects of different sealing conditions on the seal strength of polypropylene  films coated with a bio-based thin layer. Packaging Technology and Science, 2009; 22: 359-369. DOI: 10.1002/pts.861