Biodegradable, Sustainable, and Anti-Microbes Packaging that kills harmful bacterial

Anti-Microbes Pack

A unit of scientists from NTU Singapore and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, US, has created a ‘smart’ food packaging material that is biodegradable, sustainable, and kills microbes harmful to humans. It could also prolong the shelf-life of fresh fruit by two to three days.

Corn Protein – Biopolymer 

Natural food packaging is produced from a kind of corn protein called zein, starch, and additional naturally derived biopolymers. It is a cocktail of natural antimicrobial mixtures. These contain oil from thyme, a common herb used in cooking, and citric acid, typically found in citrus fruits.

Auto-Natural Killing 

In laboratory experimentations, when exposed to improved humidity or enzymes from toxic bacteria, the fibers in the packaging have been directed to release the natural antimicrobial compounds, killing everyday dangerous bacteria that degrade food, such as E. coli and Listeria as fungi.

The packaging is created to release the necessary miniscule amounts of antimicrobial compounds in reaction to additional humidity or bacteria. This confirms that the packaging can take several exposures and last for months.

The anti-microbes compounds combat any bacteria that grow on the surface of the packaging, and the food product itself can use it for a large variety of products, including ready-to-eat foods, raw meat, fruits, etc., and vegetables.

In an experiment, strawberries wrapped in the packaging stayed fresh for seven days before developing mold, compared to counterparts kept in mainstream fruit plastic boxes, which only stayed fresh for four days.

Non-Toxic and Food Safe

The innovation is the development of the association by scientists from the NTU-Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Initiative for Sustainable Nanotechnology (NTU-Harvard SusNano), which brings NTU and Harvard Chan School researchers jointly to work on cutting edge applications in agriculture and food, with a priority on developing non-toxic and environmentally safe nanomaterials.

The development of this cutting-edge food packaging material is part of the University’s efforts to encourage sustainable food tech solutions aligned with the NTU 2025 strategic plan, which aspires to grow sustainable solutions to address some of humanity’s pressing grand challenges.

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Vihaan Nagal

संवेष्टन अभियान्ता | Packaging Engineer | Verpackung Ingenieur *Free time blogger *Believe in packaging reform (say naa to orthodox packaging) My life lies between degradable and non-degradable material.

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