December 14, 2021

Melodea’s plant-sourced coating helps protect product from oil, grease, oxygen

Green-tech startup Melodea Ltd. has joined the sustainable packaging scene with an aim on reducing plastic waste.

Melodea has developed MelOx, a high-performance, plant-sourced barrier coating that protects packaged products from oxygen and oil and grease transmission. The company also developed Melodea VBcoat, which protects packaged goods from water vapor and oil and grease transmission.

Unlike existing materials used for such purpose like plastics and aluminum, Melodea sources its barrier coating material for packaging from wood pulp, the same raw material used to make paper. The green solution helps steer paper and packaging producers toward more socially responsible packaging routes and will enable users to meet sustainability goals more quickly. The coatings are sustainable and recyclable and do not contribute to plastic waste pollution.

Plant cellulose replaces plastic

Cellulose, the primary building block of the cell walls of all plants, is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet,” said Shaul Lapidot, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Melodea, through a press release. “It provides plants with extraordinary strength, and is a lightweight — yet strong — material We found that this bounteous and renewable material can be utilized to produce novel, eco-friendly packaging alternatives for the packaging industry.”

The company applies proprietary technology to extract cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp sourced from trees grown in industrial forests. The sustainable barrier coatings are uniquely designed to offer protection from oxygen, oil, grease, and water vapor transmission. The coatings helps maintain the quality and integrity of the packaged foods inside, while eliminating the need for aluminum and plastic. As a forestry by-product, it also is compostable, recyclable, and completely non-toxic for people and the environment. Once done with the package, one can simply throw it into the recycling bin. 

Helping packagers comply

“Consumers are imposing more strident demands when it comes to the welfare of the planet, and this increasingly resonates in their purchasing behavior,” said Lapidot. “Concurrently, the supply chain is ‘greening’ up its act, especially in light of legislative measures curbing plastic use. The Melodea barrier coating helps the packaging industry make a smoother shift from petroleum-based plastics to plant-based materials, without compromising safety or performance.” 

The EU Single-Use Plastics Directive (SUPD) went into force in July, effectively placing a ban on the 10 most polluting single-use plastic items littering EU beaches. Among these are plastic bags, packets, wrappers, and food containers. The directive also placed labeling requirements to inform customers on the packaging’s disposal options and its content. 

Packaging in harmony with nature

“It is no secret that the solution for a sustainable and circular packaging industry necessitates moving to bio-based materials,” said Zvika Weiss, CFO of Melodea. “Our cellulose-based barrier coatings offer an economically affordable, naturally abundant, and sustainable alternative to oil-based products. More importantly, its raw material lives in harmony with nature — it comes from the forest, and it returns to the earth at the end of its lifecycle.”

The company’s liquid formulas can be applied as a coating to various substrates, including paper, paperboard, bio-plastic and even plastic itself. It serves companies across the packaging value chain, from paper and packaging producers to consumer goods manufacturers and food companies. The high-barrier coatings can be tailored to a broad range of packaging products, such as pouches, lids, and food and beverage cartons. It is suitable for packaging both dry and liquid products.


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