The scientists also picked up the Most Innovative Research Project for 2009 from the Centre for Food Robotics & Automation (Cenfra).
Using nanofillers to enhance plastic packaging materials by no more than a few nanometers (one millionth of a millimetre), the researchers have created a solution that doesn’t affect the appearance of the plastic packaging, and eliminates the need to use heavier packaging materials such as glass.
According to Nottingham Trent University, the use of this nanoscopic technique has the potential to make huge savings in the energy traditionally required for the processing and transportation of beverage bottles.
Further development of its nanotechnology work has also led to the creation of materials with inherent antimicrobial properties (ie the ability to kill or inhibit the growth of microorganisms), which are suitable for use in contact with foodstuffs.
Current methods used to combat microbial contamination of food products are not currently suitable for use in plastics packaging. The Nottingham Trent University solution involves a special ‘antimicrobial nanocomposite’ that can be used within these materials.
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