NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X13.02-9217
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Food Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE: Dual Use Packaging

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
14514Creek Crossing Drive
Orland Park, IL 60467 - 6046
(708) 441-9781

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
George Sadler
14514Creek Crossing Drive
Orland Park, IL 60467 - 6046
(708) 441-9781

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA seeks down-weighted packaging compatible with microwave preparation and perhaps high hydrostatic pressure processing. New packaging must satisfy NASA's 3-year storage mandate. Foil laminate containers meet NASA's oxygen, moisture and general shelf life demands; however, their weight, processing and disposal characteristic are not ideal. A previous NASA SBIR examined nanobarrier-containing packages; but these did not perform to NASA's needs.
The current SBIR proposes to remove oxygen electrochemically, control moisture independent of the packaging, and also carefully selecting packaging materials to perform some second generation function. Using non-packaging-related control of oxygen and moisture allows versatile selection of primary packaging to permit packaging concepts unacceptable under NASA's existing packaging paradigm. These include edible packaging, soluble pre-weighed reconstitutable cartridges for beverages, and packages designed for compatibility with mission-grown foods. Primary food packs would be bundled in an overpack designed to remove oxygen and to manage moisture. The overpack would itself serve a secondary mission function. Overpack materials might include photovoltaic polymer sheets, light emitting plastics, or might simply serve a a waste or food storage function. Shifting oxygen and moisture control away from packaging allows package construction from much lighter material with reduced weight, processing and disposal limitations. A dialog on extravehicular food storage is proposed

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Only imagination limits the advantages of the overpack concept to NASA. At the most apparent level, the concept addresses NASA's desire for lightweight, waste-reduced, long shelf life, processing-compatible and food-preparation friendly packaging materials. At the secondary level, the concept provides reuses for obvious needs for foods grown shipboard, such as disposal, storage, repacking and perhaps waste processing. However, the strategy can also play a role at a level not as yet fully envisioned by providing innovative secondary polymer/plastic uses including: Fresnel lens to increase photovoltaic power, an illumination source from light emitting polymers, electricity from photovoltaic polymer overwraps, polymers which can be dissolved with or without heat to be recast, extruded, or spun into a veritable department store of novel items. Activation of packages with antimicrobials, antioxidants, enzymes, cell free extracts, bacteriophages, or other chemical, biological or biochemical surfaces would provide protection, production and other useful innovations to packaging. Whatever has value on earth will have incomprehensible value in space. Packaging will be designed for infinite reuse and not disposal.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The concept of non-packaging control of oxygen and moisture has value in any bulk packaging or storage application. The principles have relevance to Army rations which have shelf life demands similar to space rations. Electrochemical removal of oxygen could prolong the quality of bulk aseptic foods. The activation of packaging with chemical, biochemical or biological attributes provide novel approaches to enhance shelf life, to increase desirable attributes of foods, to identify and destroy pathogens, to announce the status of a food. Theoretically organelles and cell-free extracts could be attached to package surfaces to produce nutrients directly from carbon dioxide in the air. A package could be virtually converted into a single cell organism which carriers out many useful functions. Secondary uses for packaging could reduce disposal, add value to the container, and produce interest in the product. The processes of surface activation could have applications in the pharmaceutical industry for applying antimicrobial properties to bandages, shunts, catheters or other tissue-contact surfaces.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Biomass Production and Storage
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
In-situ Resource Utilization
Waste Processing and Reclamation

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50