Maarten Baele

maartenbaele-pngMsc. / PhD student

His research is part of the OptiBarrier project, supported by VLAIO and initiated by Pack4Food vzw. This project has a strong connection with several industrial stakeholders, as well as research instituties such as the Belgian Packaging Institute (BVI), the UHasselt Packaging Center, the KULeuven Light & Lightning Laboratory and the UGent Centre for Polymer and Material Technology.

His work focuses on simplifying food packaging and how it can affect the safety and quality of packaged foods. Three aspects, all concerning “barrier properties” of food packaging, are considered:

  • the barrier a packaging provides against ingress of gases such as oxygen,
  • the barrier against light
  • and the barrier against migrating substances.

The research takes a case-by-case approach, identifying optimal barrier properties and thus the ideal packaging material required for certain food products. This is done through shelf life tests considering microbial growth of pathogens as well as spoilage organisms and a range of chemical quality parameters.

Effectiveness of the protection against migrating compounds is measured through a range of extraction and GC techniques. The end goal of the project is to increase sustainability and efficiency of the packaging process by minimizing unnecessary packaging waste and food waste.


He received a MSc degree in Bioscience Engineering sciences “Food Science & Nutrition” in 2015 from Ghent University, Belgium. In October 2015, he joined the Pack4Food research project OptiBarrier as a researcher and PhD candidate.

During the research, he has gained a multidisciplinary view and a broad understanding on packaging processes and food spoilage mechanisms, and a newfound interest in sustainability. He has attended multiple international congresses as an oral presenter.


Contact & Bibliography:

Ir. Maarten Baele



Pack4food Optibarrier Project