Rutgers University: Develop biodegradable plant coatings to improve food safety

To produce an eco-friendly alternative to plastic food packaging and containers, a Rutgers University scientist has developed a biodegradable plant-based coating that can be sprayed on food to protect against pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and shipping damage. #Paper cup fan

A scalable process may reduce the adverse environmental impact of plastic food packaging and protect human health.

Philippe Democritu, director of the Center for Nanoscience and Advanced Materials Research, and the Henry Rutgers School of Public Health and Professor of Nanoscience and Environmental Bioengineering at the Institute of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. “We also asked ourselves, ‘Can we design packaging that extends shelf life, reduces food waste, and increases food safety?’”


Demokritou added: “What we are proposing is a scalable technology that allows us to convert biopolymers, which can be extracted from food waste as part of a circular economy, into smart fibers that can directly wrap food. This is a new part of a generation of “smart” and “green” food packaging”.

The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists at Harvard University and funded by the Harvard-Nanyang Technological University/Singapore Sustainable Nanotechnology Initiative. #Wholesale Yibin paper cup fan

Their article, published in the scientific journal 《Nature Foods》, describes a novel packaging technology using polysaccharide/biopolymer-based fibers. Like the web cast by the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, the viscous material can be spun from a heating device similar to a hair dryer and “shrink” over foods of all shapes and sizes, such as avocados or brisket Steak. The resulting food-wrapped material is strong enough to protect against bruises and contains antibacterial agents to fight spoilage and disease-causing microbes such as E. coli and Listeria.

The research paper describes a technique called focused rotary jet spinning, a process for producing biopolymers, and quantitative evaluations showing that the coating extends the shelf life of avocados by 50 percent. According to the study, the coating could be washed off with water and degraded in the soil within three days.

The new packaging aims to address a serious environmental problem: the proliferation of petroleum-based plastic products in waste streams. Efforts to curb plastic use, such as legislation in states like New Jersey to eliminate the practice of handing out plastic shopping bags at grocery stores, would help, Demokritou said. But they want to do more. #APP paper cup fan

“I’m not against plastics, I’m against the petroleum-based plastics that we keep throwing out there because only a small percentage of it can be recycled,” Demokritou said. Over the past 50 to 60 years, in the age of plastic, we have put 6 billion tons of plastic waste into our environment. There they slowly degenerate. These tiny fragments are getting into the water we drink, the food we eat and the air we breathe.”

A growing body of evidence from Demokritou’s research team and others points to potential health effects.

The paper describes how the new fiber that wraps food combines with naturally occurring antibacterial ingredients – thyme oil, citric acid and nisin. Researchers in Demokritou’s research team can program the smart material to act as a sensor, activating and destroying bacterial strains to ensure that food arrives uncontaminated. Demokritou said this would address growing concerns about foodborne illnesses and reduce the incidence of food spoilage. #Paper Cup Fan For Hot Drink

Harvard scientists who conducted the study included Kevin Kit Parker, Huibin Chang, Luke Macqueen, Michael Peters and John Zimmerman of the Disease Biophysics Group at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; the Harvard Chan School of Public Health for the Environment Jie Xu, Zeynep Aytac and Tao Xu from the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology, Department of Health. #

Post time: Jul-08-2022