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CJ CheilJedang receives U.S. FDA approval for biodegradable PHA for food packaging



▲ CJ CheilJedang’s biodegradable material is approved by the U.S. FDA.

CJ CheilJedang's biodegradable material PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) has been approved for use in food packaging in the United States.

aPHA material (amorphous) produced only by CJ CheilJedang in the world has been approved as a food contact substance (FCS) by the U.S. FDA

CJ CheilJedang announced on the 4th of this month that PHA has been approved as a Food Contact Substance (FCS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

PHA is a high molecular substance that microorganisms accumulate in their cells after eating plant-derived ingredients. It is biodegradable in most environments, including soil and the ocean. It is a biomaterial that can be applied to various fields, such as packaging for household products and cosmetic containers, and is emerging as an alternative to petroleum-based plastics as the global movement to reduce them grows.

The approved product is amorphous PHA (aPHA), which CJ CheilJedang is the only company in the world to commercially produce. As it has soft rubber-like properties, it can be used to make assorted items that need to be modified, such as packaging materials and plastic bags. The material has undergone extensive safety testing and is now on the FDA's food contact substance (FCS) list. In Korea, it is registered by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as a substance that can be used in food packaging materials.

Expected to drive the company's expansion of biodegradable materials business in North America, the world's largest market..."We will expand the application of PHA into various fields"

With the FCS approval, CJ CheilJedang will be able to expand its biodegradable materials business in North America, the world's largest market. In particular, PHA has the advantage of improving strength, physical properties, and biodegradability when blended with other biodegradable materials, such as PLA and PBAT, so it is expected to be widely used in various types of food packaging. The company also plans to pursue FCS approval for semi-crystalline scPHA within the year.

"With the FCS approval by FDA, we have set the stage for expanding the market for PHA as a future material,” said a source from the company. "We will continue to promote the usefulness of PHA in the global market and expand its application to various fields closely related to consumers."

CJ CheilJedang has been working to expand the application of biomaterials. In December last year, the company developed a container made of PHA and PLA and applied it to cushion products of 'WAKEMAKE', CJ Olive Young's private brand (PB), and is also focusing on expanding PHA by collaborating with various companies, such as Yuhan-Kimberly, hotel chain ACCOR, and makeup brand BANILACO.