Contact: RISE-PFI

Development of innovative packaging solutions for transportation of fresh fish and agricultural products

FiBaPack (“Novel fibre-based water barrier packaging for transport of fresh fish and agricultural products”) has been an R&D project coordinated by PFI and financed by Norwegian industry and The Research Council of Norway. The main objective of the project is to develop cellulose fibre-based packaging, suited for transport of fresh fish and agricultural products.

Conventional packaging for the handling of fish and agricultural products is exposed to water and moisture. The packaging must thus be able to tolerate 4-7 days of transportation in a wet, humid and cool climate, without being damaged. The requirement is simple – the food must maintain superior quality throughout the entire value chain. Strength properties, water barrier properties, sustainability and ability to maintain food quality during transportation should be competitive with conventional packaging, which is commercially available in the market today.

In the fish industry fiber-based packaging is mainly used for frozen fish. For fresh fish, expanded polystyrene is widespread. Cellulose fibre-based packaging therefore represents a sustainable alternative to the existing rigid packaging solutions, based on expanded polystyrene. Fibre-based packaging for transport of agricultural products is another issue. The agricultural packaging grades should allow for higher piles and be more resistant to water exposure, than existing fiber-based packaging grades.

The project has been multidisciplinary, including material development, coating trials, box design and transportation tests with fresh fish and vegetables. By the end of the project period packaging prototypes were presented both for fresh fish (whole and fillet) and vegetables. For transportation of fish, the packaging solutions were made of solid board. For vegetables, the boxes were made of corrugated board. All boxes were tested in real transportation tests, which were successful. These new, innovative packaging solutions are very promising and have a major potential for being produced commercially for the food packaging market.



The project group provided competence along the entire value chain, being the coordinated cooperation between the partners of vital importance. FiBaPack was a successful cooperation between Peterson (supplier of paper- and packaging), Eka Chemicals (supplier of chemicals), SalMar (producer of farmed salmon) and Gartnerhallen (distributor of vegetables), and the R&D institutions Innventia, NTNU and SINTEF.