Food Packaging


Address: Plesso Chimico Parco area delle Scienze 17A, 43123 Parma  - GPS44°45'59''N 10°18'48''E
Professors and researchers:  
Prof.ssa Alessia Bacchi -

Prof.ssa Federica Bianchi - 

Prof.ssa Maria Careri - 

Prof.ssa Antonella Cavazza -

Prof. Paolo Pelagatti -

Dr. Paolo Pio Mazzeo -

Dr. Nicolò Riboni -
Young researchers: 

Dr. Fabio Montisci

Dr.ssa Olimpia Pitirollo 


Dott. Fabio Fornari

Dr.ssa Maria Grimaldi

Dr. Michele Prencipe

Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability



Research topics

·      Crystal Engineering of Co-crystals: Co-crystals are solid crystalline materials consisting of multiple molecular partners (coformers) that are arranged within the solid in an ordered and repeated fashion, thereby modulating their chemical and physical properties. We use cocrystals to modulate the release of active ingredients in food related applications.

·      Manufacture of MOFs: MOFs are porous coordination polymers amenable to targeted design using crystal engineering techniques and studied extensively in the literature for small molecule storage. We design MOFs to store and deliver active ingredients in food related applications.

·      New coatings for packaging: development of innovative solutions to improve packaging performance and prolong product shelf-life.

·      Evaluation of packaging in compliance with current legislation: the suitability of packaging for food contact must be tested by means of migration tests –i.e. overall and specific migration- in order to evaluate the release of potential contaminants from packaging to the product. In this context, chemometrics is also applied to optimize and evaluate the adequacy of new production treatments. The development and validation of analytical methods for assessing the migration of toxic or carcinogenic compounds from packaging to food to ensure food safety is another field of great importance.

·      Development of new materials for active, edible and eco-sustainable packaging. Combination of crystal engineering techniques and analytical methods to develop novel packaging materials.



1.     P. P. Mazzeo, C. Carraro, A. Monica, D. Capucci, P. Pelagatti, F. Bianchi, S. Agazzi, M. Careri, A. Raio, M. Carta, F. Menicucci, M. Belli, M. Michelozzi, A. Bacchi. Designing a Palette of Cocrystals Based on Essential Oil Constituents for Agricultural Applications, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2019, 7, 21, 17929-17940

2.     A. Pankajakshan, F. Fornari, S. Mandal, P. Pelagatti, A. Bacchi, P. P. Mazzeo, M. Careri. A zinc mixed-ligand microporous metal-organic framework as solid-phase microextraction coating for priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from water samples. Microchemical Journal, 2020, 154, 104646

3.     S. Canossa, P. Pelagatti, A. Bacchi. Drinking and Breathing: Solvent Coordination-driven Plasticity of IRMOF-9. Israel Journal of Chemistry (2018), 58(9), 1131.

4.     D. Balestri, P.P. Mazzeo, C. Carraro, N. Demitri, P. Pelagatti, A. Bacchi (2019). Stepwise evolution of molecular nanoaggregates inside the pores of a highly flexible metal-organic framework. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2019), 58, 17342.

5.     D. Balestri, P.P. Mazzeo, C. Carraro, N. Demitri, P. Pelagatti, A. Bacchi (2019). Stepwise evolution of molecular nanoaggregates inside the pores of a highly flexible metal-organic framework. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (2019), 58, 17342.

6.     F. Bianchi, F. Fornari, N. Riboni, C. Spadini, C. S. Cabassi, M. Iannarelli, C. Carraro, P.P. Mazzeo, A. Bacchi, S. Orlandini, S. Furlanetto, M. Careri, 2021 Development of novel crystalline food packaging materials by a quality design approach, Food Chemistry, 347, Article number 129051

7.     Balestri, D., Mazzeo, P.P., Perrone, R., Fornari F., Bianchi F., Careri M., Bacchi, A., Pelagatti, P. Deciphering the Supramolecular Organization of Multiple Guests Inside a Microporous MOF to Understand their Release Profile Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 2021, 60(18), pp. 10194–10202 

8.     Bignardi C., Cavazza A., Laganà C., Salvadeo P., Corradini C. (2018). Optimization of Mass Spectrometry acquisition parameters for determination of polycarbonate additives, degradation products, and colorants migrating from food contact materials to chocolate. J. Mass Spectrometry, 53, 83-90

9.     Bignardi C,·Cavazza A., Grimaldi M., ·Laganà C., Manzi C., Rinaldi M., Corradini C. (2019) Acrylamide determination in baked potatoes by HPLC–MS: effect of steam and correlation with colour indices. European Food Research and Technology 245:2393–2400

10.  Cavazza A., Bignardi C., Grimaldi M., Salvadeo P., Corradini C. (2021). Oligomers: Hidden sources of bisphenol A from reusable food contact materials. Food Research International, 139, 109959


Main Collaborations


·      University of Cape Town – South Africa

·      University of Michigan- USA, University of Montevideo - Uruguay

·      University of Belgrade - Serbia, University of Southern California – USA

·      University of Stellenbosch -South Africa, University of Bloemfontein – South Africa

·      New York University of Abu Dabi

·      University of Maragheh - Iran

·      University of Rouen – France

·      University of Granada – Spain

·      University of Frankfurt – Germany

·      University of Stockholm-Sweden

·      KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm-Sweden

·      Departamento de Química Inorgánica. Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas (CINBIO). Universidade de Vigo, Spain.



·      Università di Torino

·      Università Statale di Milano

·      Politecnico di Milano

·      Università di Bologna

·      Università di Sassari

·      Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia

·      Università di Catania

·      Università di Milano Bicocca

·      Università di Padova

·      Istituto ICCOM-CNR Firenze

·      Università degli studi di Messina


Active projects

COST ACTION: COST CA18112 - Mechanochemistry for Sustainable Industry ( ) Prof. Alessia Bacchi, participants: Prof. Paolo Pelagatti, Dr. Paolo Pio Mazzeo, Dr. Claudia Carraro

PSR Calabria 2014/2020. Misura 16 “Cooperazione” - Intervento 16.2.1 “Support for pilot projects and development of new products, practices, processes and technologies in the agri-food and forestry sectors”. Local unit principal investigator: Dr.ssa Antonella Cavazza. Other participants: Dr.ssa Maria Grimaldi, Dr.ssa Olimpia Pitirollo


Projects in collaboration with companies and consortia:

·      Davines SpA, Parma, Enzymatic degradation of cosmetics for the production of innovative packaging materials

·      Sidel SpA, Parma, Effect of magnetic field on liquid food

·      Barilla SpA, Parma, Development and validation of analytical methods for the determination of toxic substances from packaging material

·      Gruppo Fabbri Vignola SpA, Vignola (MO), Validation of an innovative machine/material system for the production of fresh food under modified atmosphere

·      Velp Scientifica, Usmate (MB) – Evaluation of oxidative stability of food products by Oxitest reactor

·      V-Shapes, Calderara di Reno (BO), Study of the production process of an automated machine for the packaging of sanitizer hand gel in single-dose V-Shapes sachets, POR-FESR EMILIA ROMAGNA 2014-2020, Bando 2020, Bando per sostenere progetti di ricerca ed innovazione per lo sviluppo di soluzioni finalizzate al contrasto dell’epidemia da COVID-19 (2020)

·      PI.GA. Service sas, Santarcangelo di Romagna (RN), Analytical evaluation of raw materials and food products characterised by low Fodmap

·      Greci Industria Alimentare spa, Ravadese (PR), Analytical evaluation of markers related to food products stability after treatment with active packaging.

·      Campus srl, Collecchio (PR), Evaluation of migrations from secondary packaging.