Plastic packaging is good for storing food, but creates a lot of waste. Scientists at Harvard and Rutgers Universities have developed a new antimicrobial coating made from natural materials that sprays onto food, keeps it fresh, and washes off easily.
In essence, these are biopolymer fibers with natural antimicrobial substances in the composition, including thyme oil, citric acid and lowlands (E234). The material is a barrier to E. coli, Listeria and other bacteria and keeps food from spoiling and dirt. Just rinse with water before use.
The process of creating the material is not complicated and is based on focused rotary jet spinning. Once made, it can be sprayed from a hair dryer type heating device onto any food, including meat. In testing, the coating was able to keep avocados fresher for up to 50% longer and even helped prevent stains. At the same time, it decomposes in the soil in about 3 days.
Of course, this is not the first eco-friendly food wrap. There have already been experiments with shrimp shell and spider silk film, milk protein packaging and pectin coating. All these ideas have one thing in common – they are made from industrial waste. This is a technology for turning biopolymers into smart fibers in the framework of the circular economy of food waste – the first steps towards smart “green” packaging.