The Food Packaging Laboratory (PackLAB) of University of Milan was established in 1985 at the Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences – DeFENS (formerly DiSTAM) as the first Italian academic center exclusively devoted to packaging research. At that time, the first course of Food Packaging and Distribution was offered in our Country, within the curriculum of Food Science and Technology in the Faculty of Agriculture of University of Milan. The very fast and worldwide growing importance of the food packaging sector pushed PackLAB to grow quickly as well. In these almost 25 years several collaborations have been established with other Universities and Research Centers in Italy and abroad, together fruitful industrial partnerships with in the food and polymeric materials sectors.
We truly believe that is possible (or better, it is necessary) to observe, to understand, and to measure in a quantitative fashion whatever deals with food packaging. In few words, to apply scientific methods to food packaging-related aspects. Our mission is to apply basic principles to understand everyday phenomena in order to find breakthrough solutions to practical issues.
We trust in Scientific Research – Scientific research is a team activity, with no boundaries; it must be carried out without preconceptions and nationalisms. Scientific research must be conscious of economical implications but always free of business constraints. The findings of scientific research must be made available to the largest share. Intellectual property has to be protected but at the same time no hurdle should be posed to the circulation of knowledge.
We want to spread a Food Packaging Scientific Culture – For a long time packaging advancement has been accomplished by empirical approaches and through a marketing vision only; innovation in packaging materials and techniques is too often based on short-term perspectives. Nowadays, the packaging relevance to economy, environment and consumer safety is so huge that a different and more conscious approach seems necessary. In this direction a packaging education is urgent in different contexts and teaching, particularly when aimed to experiential learning, is certainly essential.