The Dutch/Italian company, which has a HQ is in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and research facilities in Bologna, Italy, says its technology does not feature synthetic chemicals, biocides, heavy metals or nanoparticles.
It is fully biocompatible and non-toxic and prevents bacteria and microorganisms pilling up on the surface of a product, meaning food stays fresh for longer, and can prevent cross-contamination.
Lausha is making the capital injection and is obtaining an equity stake of 12.5% which will allow Parx Materials to expand its team and invest in scaling up the production of Saniconcentrate.
Saniconcentrates can be added to (single or multilayer) food packaging film, especially films that are in direct contact with food, such as vacuum, shrink or skin film.
There are also significant advantages of having an antibacterial property on the outside of food packaging. For example, retail packaged chicken is known to carry chicken bacteria on the outside. This can cause cross-contamination in consumers’ shopping bags, on the shelfs or supermarket conveyor belts.
This is an increasing concern as consumers are re-suing their shopping bags often unaware of the potential risks.
According to the company, Saniconcentrates antimicrobial materials will allow manufacturers in Europe and the US to safely create self-sanitizing products with an antibacterial property of up to 99% within 24 hours, as determined according to ISO22196 with gram positive Staphylococcus aureus and gram negative Escherichia coli bacteria.
The company changed its name to Parx Materials following an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in January in Rotterdam.
“With the business of Parx evolving into more areas the name requires to evolve to cover our activities better,” said Michaël van der Jagt, CEO, Parx Materials.
“We are expecting to finalise our tests involving liquid silicone rubber in the coming period, adding another type of material to our portfolio.”
Parx Materials signed a Master Service Agreement with PepsiCo in December to develop a technology providing a high level of microbiological reduction in high performance plastics and it is seeing adoption of its technology in supermarkets in the UK.
Supermarket refrigeration display cabinets globally suffer from a build-up of bacteria known as Pseudomonas. This bacteria is known for its self-produced mucus that latch onto the internal surfaces of the waste water drainage pipes where they continue to grow and generate larger forms of biofilms and slime, which eventually results in clogged drain pipes.
Over a period of time the build-up is so severe it causes blockage of the drainage pipe, results in water leaks, maintenance issues, service call-outs and possible outbreaks of pathogens.
Tests taking as long as 12 to 14 months showed integrating Parx technologies in these drainage systems created a sustainable anti-clogging solution that can reduce call-outs by up to 100% over a period of time, saving supermarket chains a lot of costs and disruption.
Keeping the rest of the freezer or refrigerator clean is something many supermarkets have laid out in a periodic cleaning scheme. These areas are notorious for collecting food particles and should be cleaned out regularly.
To make this task easier supermarkets are fitting shelf-liners into their refrigerators. They are easy to remove and have collected all the dirt build-up since the previous cleaning.
Aldi in the US has been implementing shelf liners produced with the aid of the Parx Materials technologies, which are integrated into the manufacturing process of the extruded sheets and prevent adhesion of biofilm and bacteria.
Parx technologies were developed in an effort to copy the human immune system, which greatly relies on trace elements. Incorporating a trace element into polymers, with an innovative method, delivers characteristics mimicking those of the human skin.
The technology was recognized in its early stages by the European Commission, marking the company as one of the top tech startups of Europe and was also picked up in the US, receiving a World Technology Award in the materials category.
In the run-up to the awards, Michael van der Jagt, one of the founders and CEO of Parx Materials was asked what he thought set the company apart from the work of others in the same field.
"Our technology to kill bacteria is derived from biomimetics while others use chemicals, heavy metals, nano-materials, or other hazardous substances," he said. "We managed to copy something from nature that acts against bacteria that cannot lead to antibiotic resistance.
“Roughly all available antimicrobial technologies today make use of toxins and they have substances leaching out of the material to kill the bacteria.
“In our technology we don't use harmful substances and we have nothing leaching out of the material. The fact that we found a way to make an efficient antibacterial effect without leaching substances is the true unique element of our technology."
Now Material ConneXion, a material science resource in New York, has adopted Parx Materials technology into its database and has awarded Parx with a Seal of Material Excellence.
Material ConneXion is a Sandow Company trying to bridge the gap between brands and manufacturers, connecting them with the world’s most innovative and sustainable materials and establish direct contact with manufacturers.
Material Connexion clients have three services at their disposal: A sustainable materials and technology library from 75+ industries with new materials every month; Innovation Walls, a display of materials and processes, handpicked by experts and On-Call Expert Consultations.