Australia gets silver in packaging awards

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) entered seven student design projects for the first time in the WorldStar Student Awards which resulted in a silver in the Sustainability category and all seven teams receiving Certificates of Recognition.

The WorldStar Student Awards competition is run by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) international packaging design competition for students – undergraduate or graduate – from countries around the world who are involved in projects in the field of packaging, including structural design and/or graphic design.

Silver Sustainability Award Winner – Camel

The winning entry was called Camel and was a design the team developed for an energy ball company that produces by-products in its peanut manufacturing process. The winning team was Caterina Palma, Sherlyn Marvella, Tamanna Kibrea from the New Frontiers Program at Monash Food Innovation.

The New Frontiers Program sees SMEs partnered with a dedicated student team for 10-12 weeks working on a business challenge in food, beverages, market analysis, new product development and packaging. Over the duration of the program participants learn MFI innovation methodologies to explore value propositions, markets, knowledge mapping, product mapping and ideation to provide leading innovative solutions for their partnered SME.

The Singapore program used the New Frontiers structure to engage with eight Singaporean SMEs who were interested in exploring and developing a line extension or new product for the Australian market.

Each SME had a dedicated multidisciplinary Monash student team working over 10 weeks on their business challenge. SME executives and Monash students partnered to be trained in a proven innovation framework that included gathering market insights, knowledge mapping, product mapping, ideation of product/packaging and validation with prototyping. The outputs were a high fidelity product and packaging concept ready to be scaled up or implemented by SME partners.

The team thought the outer layer of the food packaging could utilise 30 per cent of the peanut husks in the production of fibreboard. They saw this as a means of valorising food waste and aligning the packaging with the food, which was organic and vegan.

The company that the team worked with produces a substantial amount of by-products in their peanut manufacturing process with the production of peanut shells/hulls estimated to be 230-300g per kilogram of peanut. This by-product traditionally headed straight to landfill or burnt adding to atmospheric CO2. The student team began to think about ways to valorise this by-product and turn it into something useful.

During their research the team realised that peanut shells/hulls create waste disposal problems and pollute the environment; although they are inexpensive and a renewable resource. They wanted to utilise the peanut by-product and regenerate into a valuable resource, and reduce the harmful effects that were occurring on the environment.

They looked at modifying the outer layer of the food source – a peanut – and reform it into an outer layer again but in the form of food packaging. The team identified research by Akgül & Tozluoğlu (2008) that suggested using 30 per cent peanut husks in the production of fibreboard met the minimum requirements for Models of Rupture and Models of Elasticity. Fibreboard is a material used to make furniture, this means that if using 30% peanut husks can be used to make structural furniture, it potentially has the capability to be sound enough, strength-wise, for food packaging; with the valuable addition of being lightweight.

The new design appearance is raw and organic with minimal pastel colouration. The colour of the packaging gives the appeal of natural and healthy, which is what the product inside the package also aims to be. The packaging aligns with the product inside which is organic, vegan, and no added sugar or preservatives.

The box is a distinctive and new shape to how energy balls are usually packaged. The convenience of opening the box and then being able to close it back up if the consumer doesn’t want to eat them all in one go. As regulation requires, the product needs to be sufficiently sealed before purchased in stores. The edible substance concealed by an inside layer of home-compostable plastic (AS5810, ABAP 20007), this will act both as protection from contamination while also providing evidence for tampering. This makes 100 per cent of the packaging 100 per cent compostable.

The AIP would also like to congratulate the teams that received Certificates of Recognition including: Apollo Marine: (Shaun Allen, Daniel Straw, Chrishane Amarasekara), Kampot Pepper Gift Pack: (Alexandra Straw, Lanson Cheong, Ariel Golvan), Lim Kee: (Rachel Brindley, Riley Hodgson, Patrick O’Connor), Nuvojoy: (Meera Menon, Michelle Porciuncula, Olivia Sims), Pere Ocean Pearls: (Arhan Anis, Omar Enayatzada, Soumya Buyya) and Tai Hua Soy Sauce: Sophie Francis, Joseph Tran, Neha Satish Kumar.

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