MAR 04, 2016 2:01 PM PST

New Food Packaging Material Better for Environment & Food

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

The problem with plastics plaguing the Earth and the environment from incorrect disposal of plastic wrappers and containers is continuing to get worse. It’s terrible for wildlife and can have fatal consequences on a large number of species.
 
Moreover, plastic doesn’t just readily decompose. It lasts seemingly forever and causes harm to the environment for long periods of time.
 
Perhaps a new wrapping material for food at the grocery store will prove to be better for the environment?
 

A chitosan-based material fortified with grapefruit seed extract may be better for the environment and for food than traditional synthetic plastic packging materials.


Researchers have been experimenting with a type of bioplastic derived from chitosan, a natural polymer that occurs naturally in shellfish such as crabs, shrimp, and many other species. The specific film being tested is strengthened with grapefruit seed extract.
 
As it turns out, there are many benefits to using these chitosan-designed biplastics rather than using man-made plastics.
 
For one, they’re significantly more biodegradable, which makes it easier on the Earth because they’ll actually decompose instead of lingering around in the environment. Another benefit is that it can actually help improve the shelf life of the food wrapped inside of it by nearly double the amount of time.
 
Experimentation on shelf life was performed with bread. In a lab, bread samples were wrapped in a chitosan-based film and in synthetic plastic films, and the samples wrapped in the chitosan-based film lasted significantly longer. But why?
 
The chitosan-based film is better at blocking out the ultraviolet light spectrum, which means chemical reactions that would normally occur from ultraviolet light striking the surface of the food and causing expedited degradation or deterioration were reduced significantly.
 
Obviously, such a material could be taken advantage of in stores for various reasons – not only to waste less food, but also to help have a positive impact on our environment.

Source: Tree Hugger

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
AUG 21, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
Eczema Drug Helps Increase Covid-19 Survival Rates, Clinical Study Suggests
AUG 21, 2022
Eczema Drug Helps Increase Covid-19 Survival Rates, Clinical Study Suggests
In a recent study published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases, a clinical study led by the University of Virginia (UVA) ...
SEP 03, 2022
Technology
Researchers Develop Computer Chip to Carry Out Variety of Artificial Intelligence Functions
SEP 03, 2022
Researchers Develop Computer Chip to Carry Out Variety of Artificial Intelligence Functions
In a recent study published in Nature, an international research team have created a computer chip, called the NeuRRAM n ...
AUG 30, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
This Day in Science History 8/30/1871: Birth of Ernest Rutherford Who Laid the Groundwork for Nuclear Physics
AUG 30, 2022
This Day in Science History 8/30/1871: Birth of Ernest Rutherford Who Laid the Groundwork for Nuclear Physics
On August 30, 1871, Ernest Rutherford, who would later establish the groundwork for nuclear physics and be knighted as S ...
SEP 02, 2022
Chemistry & Physics
James Webb Space Telescope Sees Its First Exoplanet
SEP 02, 2022
James Webb Space Telescope Sees Its First Exoplanet
The James Webb Space Telescope sent back its first image of an exoplanet, the first one taken from space. The JWST launc ...
SEP 21, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Are Water Worlds Common?
SEP 21, 2022
Are Water Worlds Common?
A study recently published in Science suggests that many exoplanets have larger amounts of water than previously thought ...
SEP 22, 2022
Neuroscience
Machine Learning Algorithm Offers Insights into a Dog's Neural Activity
SEP 22, 2022
Machine Learning Algorithm Offers Insights into a Dog's Neural Activity
Emory University researchers decoded images from a canine brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to re ...
Loading Comments...