“MelOx and Melodea VBcoat offer very high barrier performance – as good as plastic,” Dr. Shaul Lapidot, CEO and co-founder at Melodea told FoodNavigator-USA.
“Instead of ending up in the sea or landfill, packages with our barrier coatings can be simply thrown into the recycling bin as they are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.”
MelOx acts as a barrier against oxygen and oil and grease transmission while Melodea VBcoat protects from water vapor transmission. Lapidot explains that the products may be applied together on paper or bioplastic to replace plastic products and MelOx on recyclable plastic to replace non-recyclable plastic packages.
Joining the plastic waste challenge
Founded in 2010 by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and industrial composite experts from the clean-tech sector, Melodea has developed a suite of paints, coatings and barriers to help companies beat the plastic waste challenge and meet sustainability goals.
As the supply chain continues to go green and new plastic regulations exert pressure, the company is looking to provide paper and packaging producers with more sustainable and socially responsible alternatives to non-recyclable and non-degradable aluminum and plastic linings.
“It is no secret that the solution for a sustainable and circular packaging industry necessitates moving to bio-based materials,” says Zvika Weiss, CFO at Melodea.
“Our cellulose-based barrier coatings offer an economically affordable, naturally abundant and sustainable alternative to oil-based products.”
The cellulose appeal
Melodea uses its proprietary technology to extract cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp sourced from trees grown in the industrial forest.
“Cellulose, the primary building block of the cell walls of all plants, is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet,” Lapidot explains.
“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.”
Barriers can be applied as ultrathin coatings or thick films with integrated properties on pouches, lids and food and beverage cartons, using standard industrial machines including slot dies, rod coaters and gravures.
Lapidot says that a number of medium size and Tier 1 companies across the packaging value chain are already piloting the products, powering what Melodea calls its “bio-based revolution”.
“Paper companies apply our products directly on the paper, converters can use the products to coat films/paper, and food and consumer goods companies provide specification and shelf-life testing and sometimes perform pilots,” he explains.
Melodea’s barrier solutions led the bio-based category at the Packaging Europe 2019 sustainability awards and took home a WorldStar Award 2020 from the World Packaging Organisation.