UV Filters in Plastic Films

Effect of UV Filters in plastic Films for Food Packaging

Workgroup: Preservation of Food Quality

Spokesman of IVLV-Project Team: N. N.
Research Institution: Fraunhofer IVV, Freising
Scientific Guidance: Dr. Dr. G. Ziegleder

IGF: 13858 N
Financing: BMWi
Project Duration: 2003 – 2005

The substitution of some traditional packaging (glass, non-transparent compounds) by transparent packaging films causes an increased light influence on the packaged food. There is a lack of knowledge about the specific influence of UV wavelengths on the shelf live. UV filters in packaging films are of interest, because they don’t reduce transparency but may have a shielding effect of the packaged food. UV filters could absorb specific wavelengths in the range of UV wavelengths which are emitted by the usual day light lamps in trade.

The most types of food are sensitive against UV- as well as visible wavelengths of light. The specific sensitivity against visible light is caused by so-called sensitizers as chlorophyll or riboflavin. Light in the UV range mainly forces auto-oxidation. In general, light influence may cause bleaching, flavor defects, lipid oxidation and a reduction of vitamins. The effect of UV filters is investigated and quantified.

There are 3 aims:

  1. Identification of food of special UV sensitivity
  2. Measurement of the effect of UV filter films
  3. development of methods for the evaluation of filter films, trades illumination and the reactivity of food against light in the UV range

Industrial UV filter films are used for the investigation. In addition, some specific types of UV filter films were developed. Storage tests are performed with food with and without UV filters. Examples are vegetable oils, snacks, meat and meat products. Relevant types of food and packaging material are chosen together with the attendant industrial companies.


The IGF project presented here by the Research Association of the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV e.V.) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the AiF as part of the program for the promotion of industrial community research (IGF) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.