This project aims to develop food packaging technologies for extending shelf-live toward maintaining healthy diet and psychological well being of the space crew. The underlying technology builds on sol-gel core competency of the company. InnoSense LLC (ISL) will collaborate with the Food Technology Department at Ohio State University (OSU) for independent testing of the Flexible ORMOSIL Nanocomposite (FlexornTM
) barrier materials. Through an iterative process of coating and testing, the Phase I project would demonstrate: (a) that the Flexorn barrier can be deposited onto polymeric substrates and can be adhesively bonded to a polypropylene layer for food packaging applications; (b) achievement of water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) < than 1 g/m2-day and oxygen transmission rate (OTR) < than 1 cc/m2-day for the flexible thin-film barrier. The focus of Phase II will be optimization of the barrier architecture, and the evaluation of prototype flexible pouches for their mechanical and barrier properties after retorting, a process typically used to package reheatable foods in flexible packaging applications. Prominent members of the Center for Advanced Processing and Packaging Studies (CAPPS) at OSU (e.g., Kraft Foods) have expressed strong interest in applying this NASA-funded technology to expand their market shares.