A research group from the University of the Basque Country has demonstrated the potential effectiveness of an alternative film packaging in the preservation of food.
The research used carrots to demonstrate the various properties of Chitosan, a film made from the shells of crustaceans, and suggested that it could be less detrimental to the environment than existing plastic-based materials. Plastic bottles and films can take anywhere from 100 to 400 years to degrade, the researchers say.
“The environment benefits from the use of this waste material and, what is more, the resulting product… is biodegradable,” said lead researcher Itsaso Leceta. Leceta added: “Chitosan also has antimicrobial properties, so it is highly suited to the food industry as it reduces the microbial load – in this case of carrots. That is why their properties have been preserved better.”
However, Leceta also acknowledged that further experimentation is required before Chitosan can realise the full potential of its industrial applications. “We have to go on conducting research. Just as with renewable energies, it is better to have various options – to produce a mix – rather than just to have only one. You have to work with different polymers, to reduce the use of petroleum-based materials as much as possible,” she said.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019
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