A team of scientists from India and Russia have come up with a special cling film that you can eat. This film can be used to pack almost any product - from vegetables and fruits to meat and fish. The package contains only natural ingredients that do not pose a health hazard and do not pollute the environment. In humid conditions, the film decomposes almost completely within 24 hours.
The researchers published the results of the work in the scientific publication Journal of Food Engineering.
Employees of Indian educational institutions of Sri Padmavati and Sri Venkateswara, as well as representatives of the Ural Federal University and the Institute of Organosynthesis of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have developed three options for food packaging, which is based on a natural polymer sodium alginate - an algal product. The molecular composition of sodium alginate is capable of forming a film, and additional "strengthening" of molecules with the help of an antioxidant - ferulic acid - has led to the fact that the film has become strong, uniform, and even capable of increasing the shelf life of products.
“Thanks to the antioxidant properties of the added component, it was possible to slow down oxidative reactions and prolong the freshness of the packaged product. In addition, antiviral components can be additionally added to the film, which will even more positively affect the term food preservation, ”explained one of the authors of the work, chemist Grigory Zyryanov.
What is the main component of the invention? It is an edible polymer of natural origin. It is usually used in the production of medicines, food products, cosmetics, because sodium alginate is an excellent natural thickener and stabilizing agent. The auxiliary component of the film is ferulic acid, a substance with antioxidant properties, a product of cinnamic acid. It is distinguished by broad pharmacological activity, providing anti-inflammatory, anti-toxic, antiviral, antimicrobial and even antitumor effects.
The production of new natural film is quite affordable, since it does not require special technological facilities. The production of natural packaging can be established at enterprises specializing in the production of food products and polymers. The main thing is that such an enterprise complies with the established norms applicable to the food industry.
The issue of mass production of a new type of packaging is still at the stage of solution. Experts cannot name the exact date yet. However, given that consumer demand for sustainable cling film options is growing steadily, this is likely to happen soon.
Primary Source of Information: Journal of Food Engineering