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Microplastics in food

A new joint project involving cooperation between research and industry is looking at detection methods and their optimization.


The joint project "Microplasticatfood" focuses on the processes of food production and packaging. In the first step, the detection methods for the different product groups are to be optimized. Then it will be investigated whether microplastic particles enter everyday food during processing, through bulk and filling equipment or via packaging. This will essentially involve beverages, water-soluble foods such as salt and sugar, and the surfaces of solid foods, for example meat, sausage, fish, cheese or tofu.


The project is being coordinated jointly by the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging in Germany and by Ecoplus, the business agency of the state of Lower Austria. Hereby the University of Bayreuth is cooperating with two other research partners, the Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research in Dresden and the Austrian Research Institute of Chemistry and Technology in Vienna. In addition, 55 companies from the packaging, food and beverage industries are participating in the project. Close cooperation between research and industry was crucial, emphasizes Prof. Christian Laforsch, head of the Department of Animal Ecology I and spokesman for the Collaborative Research Center "Microplastics" at the University of Bayreuth. The optimized and further developed analytical methods could eventually provide industry partners with reliable data on any microplastic pollution and its sources. The results could then be used to jointly develop solution strategies.



  • Pharma+Food (8.8.2021)
  • Photo: © SFB Microplastics at the University of Bayreuth

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