Materials and technologies – Jaunuary 2022

04 February 2022

Extending the shelf life of fruit, vegetables and other products
EMPA and Lidl Switzerland have developed a cellulose protective coating for fruit and vegetables made from squeezed fruit and vegetable peels. Applying hexanal (a natural compound found in all fruits) to apples before harvest helps curb post-harvest spoilage, according to a new University of Guelph study published (1.76 MB) in Plants. Due to variations in the supply chain conditions, it is often unclear how long fresh fruit and vegetables can be stored. In the DigiFresh project, researchers aim to solve this problem with the help of a digital twin. Researchers at Aarhus University have developed a mathematical model based on data from the supply chain of strawberries and romaine salad. Selected partners will now start testing the digital twin based on this model. Nanyang Technological University reports that a team of scientists has developed a ‘smart’ food packaging material that is biodegradable and kills microbes that are harmful to humans. It could also extend the shelf-life of fresh fruit by two to three days. An article (abstract) about the research is published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed compostable antimicrobial “jelly ice cubes” that do not melt. The reusable cubes offer an alternative to traditional ice used to keep food cold. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. In an article (1.01 MB) published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, PolyU researchers present a snapshot of the latest advances in the design and applications of polymeric films for antioxidant active food packaging. In an article (2.41 MB) published in Food Science and Technology, Koya University researchers study the roles of different packaging materials on the quality and shelf life of yogurt.

The nova-Institute has published an updated poster (298 kB) entitled “Biodegradable Polymers in Various Environments According to Established Standards and Certification Schemes.” According to a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study published (2.34 MB) in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, cellulose diacetate (CDA) degrades in the ocean far quicker than previously assumed. CDA is a bio-based plastic also used in packaging. LUT University reports on the Finnish SUSBINCO project to accelerate the research and development of bio-based binders and coatings for applications such as packaging.
Avantium has taken a positive Final Investment Decision on the construction of its FDCA Flagship Plant. FDCA is the key building block of the 100% plant-based, recyclable plastic material PEF. In an article (1.15 MB) published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Research, BTKIT researchers give an overview of recent trends in nanotechnology applications of bio-based packaging. In an article (3.29 MB) published in Processes, North Carolina A&T researchers give an overview of marine biopolymer applications in food packaging. In an article (1.46 MB) published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, NTNU researchers give a review of edible packaging on food processing by-products. SCUT researchers have developed edible starch-based film for packaging seasoning for instant noodles. The film can quickly dissolve into hot water. An article (2.06 MB) about the research is published in Foods.

Smart packaging
EMPA researchers have developed a conductive ink made of carbon particles that could be used for smart packaging. An article (4.09 MB) about the research is published in Scientific Reports. In an article (2.83 MB) published in Environmental Chemistry Letters, researchers at the University of Leeds, study lab‑on‑a‑chip technologies for food packaging.

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