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Managing Editor  | April 2017

Researchers developing biodegradable packaging to keep food fresh


Researchers at the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) in Lithuania are developing biodegradable plastic food packaging that will keep food fresh for longer and cut down on the amount of plastic packaging finds its way into the world’s waste stream, according to a report on the KTU website.

 

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KTU researchers are finding ways to make packaging biodegradable
and keep food fresher for longer. (KTU)

 

The team of researchers in the school’s Department of Polymer Chemistry and Technology are working on a solution to use cellulose composites as the feedstock for the packaging material. This would allow the packaging material to break down quicker and by using organic materials would also maintain freshness for a longer period.

 

Researchers tested a number of organic oils to add to the cellulose-based films and discovered that clove ethereal oil provided the packaging with anti-oxidizing qualities.

 

To make the packaging antimicrobial, the researcher also added ionic silver particles, which had the added (and unexpected) benefit of making the packaging more elastic and stronger.

 

The modified cellulose packaging degrades in two years, although the researchers are continuing to work on methods for its commercialization.

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