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Definition and development of functional barriers for the use of recycled materials in multilayer food packaging


Type of information: NEWS

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LiquiGlide slips into higher commercialization gear

LiquiGlide Inc. (Cambridge, MA) is slipping into higher gear with advances on several fronts recent and new.  

Founded in 2012 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), LiquiGlide’s patented coatings eliminate friction between liquids and solids to create permanently wet, slippery surfaces. They can be used safely across a range of consumer and industrial applications from rigid plastic containers to extrusion parts. Products like ketchup, for example, no longer clings to the inner surface of a squeeze bottle, allowing near-total evacuation to reduce food waste and enhance recycling.

The company just announced the appointment of Tom Britanik as the general manager of the company’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) business. Britanik, who has extensive related experience as senior vp and chief marketing officer at The Clorox Company and as a marketing director at Proctor & Gamble, spent nearly two years as a consultant on LiquiGlide’s Advisory Board.

 “As someone who oversaw multi-billion-dollar CPG brands, Tom understands how innovations like our slippery coatings can remove design constraints, enhance the consumer product experience and unlock new potential for marketing, sales and overall brand value,” says Dave Smith, LiquiGlide co-founder and ceo. “We are excited to have him lead our CPG business as we reach an inflection point with the commercial availability of multiple CPG coatings.”

Britanik joins LiquiGlide in this new role as the company commercializes its first applications in packaging and unveils custom coatings engineered for five specific CPG markets:

• Condiments (mayonnaise, dressings and dips);

• Dairy (cream cheese, sour cream and yogurt);

• Oral care (toothpaste and denture adhesives);

• Personal care (lotion, moisturizer, sunscreen and hair conditioner);

• Adhesives (general purpose glue, wood glue and caulk).

Packaging and plastics updates

“Packages containing viscous products are ubiquitous, and the waste and consumer frustration associated with traditional packaging formats are universal,” says LiquiGlide co-founder and Chairman of the Board, MIT professor Kripa Varanasi. “As we work with leading CPG companies to bring about a new packaging paradigm, Tom’s years of experience and deep understanding of the strategy, marketing and business behind transformative packaging innovation will be invaluable.”

PlasticsToday asked Smith about the intriguing reference to “first applications in packaging.”

“I can’t comment on specific products because of confid entiality, but we continue to make significant progress with a number of companies, and we are beginning to get line of sight to launch and timelines, which is incredibly exciting,” he says. “And the good news is that we are ready to expand our engagement with CPG manufacturers. We have a stable of coating formulations that we believe will work across a range of products, packages and categories.”

One market application the company is interested in is for tubes, such as laminated structures for products like toothpaste. We wondered to what degree the technology was moving beyond rigid containers into pouches and other flexible packaging.

“Currently, LiquiGlide is primarily working on rigid packaging and tubes,” Smith points out. “While applying the coating to laminated pouches is feasible, it’s just not a main focus for us at this point.”

LiquiGlide’s other recent news includes the closing

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606572].

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