These characteristics have enabled scientists at Tufts University to develop a water-based suspension that self-assembles on the surface of foods that have been dipped into the suspension. This makes it possible for perishable foods such as apples, tomatoes, bananas, and strawberries to be well preserved.
The silk fibroin thin film reduces dehydration and gas diffusivity, hence contributing to extended shelf life.
The study also found that thicker silk fibroin coatings on the surface of food led to lower oxygen permeability and carbon dioxide production, resulting in firmer food. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have found a unique way to combine the two most abundant biopolymers, cellulose and chitin, to form edible films for food packaging. The film is made by spraying multiple layers of chitin from the shells of crabs and cellulose from trees in alternation to form a flexible film comparable to PET polyethylene terephthalate packaging.
For years, chitin has been known to have great commercial potential, and indeed, its application versatility has been a big challenge. During the development of the packaging film, researchers found that chitin nanofibers are positively charged, whereas cellulose nanofibers are negatively charged.
Influencers Driving Innovation in the Food Packaging Industry
These properties formed a good film when used in alternating layers. Unlike plastic films, crab shells and tree fiber films are crystalline in nature. This makes it difficult for the penetration of gas molecules. Wheat gluten films have been found to have better mechanical properties when the gluten concentration is In a recent study that focused on improving the barrier and mechanical properties of gluten films, scientists researched the effects of flaxseed gum, oligomeric procyanidins, and lauric acid on the water vapor permeability, mechanical properties, and peroxide value of the film.
Gluten films incorporated with these substances were found to be more dense, uniform, and hydrophobic. These improved gluten films were used in packaging salt, oil, vegetables, and seasonings. In another study , scientists incorporated a bacteriocin-like substance to gluten films made with triticale flour to effectively reduce Listeria counts in food.
The main constraint to producing biodegradable films is their production cost. However, mango peels and antioxidant extracts from seed kernels have proven to be effective in reducing gas permeability and increasing shelf life, and this innovation comes at a lower cost compared to other cling film innovations for food packaging.
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Researchers found that edible films made from mango peels show good barrier properties, with relatively lower water vapor permeability. In addition, the application of seed kernel extracts conferred increased antioxidant and polyphenol activity to the food. The use of mango waste during the production of edible films and coatings helps to reduce the harmful effects of food waste on our climate while providing a cheaper means of producing bioactive edible films for food packaging.
Recent studies have shown great potential in providing workable solutions to reducing the use of plastic films for packaging food.
pierreducalvet.ca/27449.php Some of these offer added benefits, such as greater antioxidant activity, reduced microbial activity, and other bioactive enhancements. Moving forward, it will become critical for all stakeholders in the food packaging industry to take the appropriate steps toward adopting the best biobased plastic film packaging methodologies into their product lines. They permit to keep the food shelf-life up to five years. In Europe lb of food are wasted per person per year , five times more than in Japan.
One option for increasing the shelf-life of sensible-to-oxygen-action packaged food is through the incorporation of oxygen scavengers, as Mitsubishi has done, capable to remove the remaining oxygen from inside the packages, in order to avoid the oxidation reactions that damage food and increase the shelf-life in a healthier way.
The oxygen scavengers can be included as extern agents to the package, as labels or little bags inside. This kind of technology is really used in Japan because of its oxidation prevention qualities, changes of food colour, but it is not so extended in Europe. One of the advantages of oxygen scavengers is that they do not need additional industrial equipment to use these technologies.
It also prevents the oxidation of oils and fat, so a better preservation of the nutritional qualities of the food is obtained. In this case, the oxygen scavenger substance is included in the material used for manufacturing the packages. In other words, it does not appear as an external element in the package.
UBE Engineering Plastics has explained the latest technology in plastic packaging films. They have developed a new material with better properties of resistance, elasticity, versatility and durability that improves flexible food packaging and that has new uses, such as, for instance, the bottling of wine in flexible bottles.
Food Pack 12222 Overview
The Japanese company Nippon Gohsei has launched compostable and conventional ultra high oxygen barrier resins EVOH to its application in modified atmosphere packaging. It can be used in multiple formats, such as trays, bottles, bags, cups, bricks for meat, fish, pasta or coffee.
Besides, this multifunctional packaging has a high biodegradability and it makes easier the recycling because it is being done with bio-resins. SunChemical has launched some different coatings SunBarCO2 for food packaging which are made with barrier materials that prevent the penetration or lose of gases oxygen and water vapour , light, aromas and oudors that can damage the packaged food.
These components, among other advantages, offer a lower packaging thickness, higher transparency, improve the recycling capacity, protection against UVA and reduction of the energy consume. Repsol is working in a large variety of plastics tailor-made for the consumers and with a range of properties that permit multiple uses. Among their main characteristics: the flexibility, mechanic resistance, low weight, stability, higher impermeability to humidity and, in some cases, they permit the sterilization. The aim is obtaining better packaging with lower thickness without changing the final packaging properties.
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