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Is Antimicrobial, Plant-Based Food Wrap, a good replacement of plastic?

The Executive Headlines

The researchers and scientists of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and Harvard University have developed Starch-based fibers that can enhance protection and reduce spoilage. While working on a project with the aim to discover an environment friendly they made "a biodegradable, plant-based food wrap coating that can be sprayed on foods, guarding against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and transportation damage."


Plant-based food wrap


Speaking of the plant-based food wrap, Philip Demokritou, director of the Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Research Center, and the Henry Rutgers Chair in Nanoscience and Environmental Bioengineering at the Rutgers School of Public Health and Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute said,  “We knew we needed to get rid of the petroleum-based food packaging that is out there and replace it with something more sustainable, biodegradable and nontoxic,” He also said, “And we asked ourselves at the same time, ‘Can we design food packaging with a functionality to extend shelf life and reduce food waste while enhancing food safety?”


The result


After getting the finished product Demokritou added, “And what we have come up with is a scalable technology, which enables us to turn biopolymers, which can be derived as part of a circular economy from food waste, into smart fibers that can wrap food directly. This is part of new generation, ‘smart’ and ‘green’ food packaging.” He said he is not against plastic but he is against “petroleum-based plastics that we keep throwing out there because only a tiny portion of them can be recycled. Over the past 50 to 60 years, during the Age of Plastic, we’ve placed 6 billion metric tons of plastic waste into our environment. They are out there degrading slowly. And these tiny fragments are making it into the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe.”

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