Materials and technologies – March 2022

05 April 2022

Extending the shelf-life of food
Inspired by the bacteria-killing wings of insects like cicadas, RMIT scientists have developed a natural antibacterial texture for use on packaging to improve the shelf life of food and reduce waste. The research is published (abstract) in ACS Applied Nano Materials.
In a review article (2.53 MB), Lyon 1 researchers illustrate the latest advances in biodegradable materials used for active antimicrobial and antioxidant food packaging. They also discuss commonly used nano/microencapsulated active natural agents. A study (700 kB) by Auburn University researchers shows that vacuum packaging can extend the fresh colour characteristics of beef steaks during simulated display conditions. Both studies are published in Foods, as is an article (986 kB) by FH Campus Wien entitled ‘Cereal and Confectionary Packaging: Background, Application and Shelf-Life Extension’.
In a review article (2.36 MB), LUVAS researchers summarise recent advancements in smart bioplastic food packaging. In another article (1.22 MB), University of Birmingham researchers give an overview of the application of starch-based biodegradable films in food packaging. University of Alberta research (2.37 MB) discusses current trends in the use of essential oils for biobased food packaging materials. These three studies are published in Polymers.
In an article (1.52 MB) published in Science of Food, NWAFU researchers give a review of multilayer and composite films and coatings for active biodegradable packaging.
A review (2.87 MB) of nonbiodegradable and biodegradable composites for food packaging applications is given by UKM researchers in the Journal of Chemistry.

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill have discovered a method to break down plastic waste to create a new material that is stronger and tougher than the original. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Science.
UC researchers have developed a system to convert carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and then into ethylene, a chemical used in everything from food packaging to tires. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Nature Catalysis.
A news item (in Dutch) informs that the participants of the Dutch Green Deal Plastic Recyclate have developed a methodology to establish the percentage of plastic recyclate in a semi-manufactured or finished product. You can download information in English at the bottom of this webpage.
In a review article (2.58 MB) published in Sustainability, Fraunhofer researchers discuss post-consumer recyclates in direct contact with food applications.

FPF has published a fact sheet (839 kB) addressing common questions and mix-ups around bioplastics. Among other things, the fact sheet clarifies the meaning of the terms “bio-based” and “biodegradable”.
NC State researchers have discovered a way to convert leftover sawdust powder and agro-residues into a Styrofoam-like packaging material.
UBC Okanagan researchers have adapted a technique—originally designed to embalm human remains—to strengthen the properties of biocomposites. The research is published (abstract) in Composite Structures.

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