Clemson’s Sonoco FRESH initiative awards three research grants

May 23, 2023

The Sonoco FRESH initiative at Clemson University has awarded three research grants to faculty members who are addressing issues regarding the safety, security and sustainability of food throughout the value chain. With funding provided by Sonoco (a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services) and RXO (a leading provider of asset-light transportation solutions), the projects focus on how packaging can help achieve sustainability goals, such as the reduction of food waste.

The Sonoco-funded projects explore modified starch-based barrier coating materials for paper/paperboard/corrugated fiberboard packaging and smart and sustainable manufacturing. The RXO-funded project will provide useful tools for understanding and quantifying distribution hazards to packaging during transportation.

The faculty members receiving the research grants are:

  • William Whiteside, Ph.D. – Professor, Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
  • Sneh Bangar, Ph.D.  – Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
  • Zhaoxu Meng, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Mark Johnson, Ph.D. – Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Gregory Batt, Ph.D. – Assistant Professor, Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences Department
    Director of the Sonoco Package Testing Laboratory
  • Brennan Lytle – Research Laboratory Manager, Sonoco Package Testing Laboratory

FRESH believes that Safe. Secure. Sustainable. innovations can occur in every vertical of the food value chain. With top academic experts involved in every step of the food value chain, Clemson is positioned to drive solutions. More information on Sonoco FRESH and its research program can be found at