TomaPaint is a startup whose objective is to commercialise a bio-resin extracted from the agri-industrial tomato waste (mainly tomato skins), which will be the main component of a bio-lacquer to use in the food packaging sector.
The founders of TomaPaint come from different work backgrounds:
- Montanari comes from the world of public research (Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry, SSICA), where he worked for over 30 years, dealing with applied research in the food packaging sector.
- the Chiesa brothers are entrepreneurs, with several years’ experience both in the agricultural field and in the production of biogas from agri-food waste.
- Barbieri has a pHd in environmental engineering and has been active in the field since the beginning.
All four founders have worked and continue to work on projects funded by the Europe Commission on the use of waste from industrial food processing, in particular by developing both in the lab and as pilot project a process and technology for the extraction of cutin, a natural resin, from tomato processing waste, mainly from tomato skins.
This technology was the subject of a (granted) national and international patent.
The Biocopac, BiocopacPlus and Agrimax European projects are coordinated by SSICA and involve the participation of numerous European partners, from academia and public research organizations.
Normally metal containers for food are protected internally and externally by a petroleum-based lacquer, which, though complying with strict national and European laws, risks contamination with chemical substances which are harmful to health. The most recent cause for alarm has come from Bisphenol A, an endocrine disruptor. TomaPaint addresses these issues as it replaces the petroleum-based synthetic resins in the production of lacquers used for lining metal food cans, thus reducing the risks of migration of dangerous chemical substances and putting to use agri-industrial waste.
TomaPaint represents the first resin of natural origin, there is nothing similar either on the market or as a patent.
In 2018 TomaPaint came first in the Climate LaunchPad competition and second in the Emilia-Romagna Start Cup competition. In 2019 it won the prize Seal of Excellence in the context of the grant SME Instrument - H2020 of the EU Commission.
Start Cup Emilia-Romagna