© Sergey Ryzhov

The consortium of microplastic@food combines the expertise of researchers (RTD) in polymer characterisation (IPF), material sciences (OFI) and ecology (UBT) as well as software specialists for automated measurements (purency). In addition, the SME User Committee is formed by companies along the value chain of food and food packaging. Based on their food samples (e.g. mineral water, juice, milk, tofu, beer, salt, sugar,…) and plastic materials (e.g. filling, packaging, ...) a valid method to analyse MP in food will be developed.

Scientific Partner


Austrian Research Centre for Chemistry and Technology (www.ofi.at)

The OFI's strength lies in its interdisciplinarity and the availability of highly qualified staff (approx. 120 employees, academic ratio of 53%) from various fields (from materials chemistry to plastics technology to packaging). The project expands the OFI's business relations with SMEs from food and packaging production and plant engineering. The OFI will play two roles in this project: as an insider with high expertise in the field of packaging & food (Packaging & Food Department of the OFI headed by Dr Michael Washüttl) and as an analytical research laboratory with a strong focus on sample preparation and various measurement methods in FTIR spectroscopy and microscopy (single point, mapping and imaging).


Purency Ltd.

Purency’s core competence is the fast development of machine learning applications for hyperspectral imaging. The company delivers its services by means of a modular frame software, which combines the custom made machine learning models with a graphical user interface to streamline the data analysis process.


Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden e.V.

The current challenges in energy, mobility, health, sustainability and communication require new technologies and materials. Polymers offer unique opportunities to tailor materials and launch innovative technologies. At the IPF, researchers from different disciplines cooperate to exploit this fascinating potential. As a member of the Leibniz Association, the institute is dedicated to application-oriented basic research and is strongly networked at the Dresden site, nationally and internationally. The experienced specialists in spectroscopy (FTIR, NIR, UV/VIS, Raman and ultrasound) and multivariate data analysis (quantitative analysis, statistical process control, real-time process analysis) identify and quantify microplastic particles in aquatic systems but also food samples.


University of Bayreuth

University of Bayreuth is a research-orientated campus university in the north of Bavaria, Germany and is ranked No 29 among 200 top universities younger than 50 years (THE ranking). Currently, nearly 13,000 students are enrolled. UBT has established profile areas (PA) gathering researchers from different faculties working on interdisciplinary topics. Amongst those, Polymer & Colloid Science (PA-PC) and University of Bayreuth Centre of Ecology and Environmental Research (BayCEER) are among the most prestigious research centres in Eu-rope and support their members with an excellent infrastructure for research activities which are also fruitful for the proposed CORNET project. Prof. Dr. Christian Laforsch holds the chair of Animal Ecology I at the University of Bayreuth. His research focuses on biological adaptation to environmental stressors and in this context he investigates ecotoxicological effects of anthropogenic substances with state-of-the-art techniques from life history to molecular markers. In this context, he was among the first authors addressing the contamination of freshwater ecosystems with MPs.

Project management and Coordination


Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging e.V.

In the framework of precompetitive collective research solutions to problems are developed under coordination of the IVLV. The non‐profit industry association generates research pro-jects and provides the funding for collective industrial research. The IVLV is engaged in 33 joint research projects on key topics such as preservation of food quality, compliance of packaging materials and filling and packaging processes. The special aim of IVLV is to sup-port the research and development of SMEs.


ecoplus. Food Cluster Lower Austria

ecoplus as a privately managed business agency with decades of experience, a highly specialised team and a comprehensive network offers tailor-made services. We offer access to regional funding and support innovative cooperation projects to increase the competitiveness of SMEs. The Food Cluster Lower Austria is the information, service and contact point for the entire value chain of the food industry in Lower Austria - from agriculture to processing companies to trade. The economic and agricultural departments of the Lower Austrian provincial government are responsible for this. Operational implementation is carried out by ecoplus.

Company partner

A total of 55 corporate partners are participating in the international CORNET project "microplastic@food", 33 of them from Austria and 22 from Germany. In addition, international associations from the packaging sector such as the World Packaging Organization (WPO) and Plastics Europe (PE) are involved in this research and development project.