08-Jun-2021 | Market Research Store

The world has been dealing with the ferocious consequences of the burgeoning use of plastic over the past few years. One of the key items that lead to extensive microplastic pollution is single-use plastic for food packaging. Still, the manufacturers use plastic films and covers for packaging the food products, particularly perishable food items, to enhance the shelf life of packaged foods. Therefore, to prevent the usage of plastic in food packaging, a team of researchers at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have formulated an eco-friendly coating that acts like plastic film. The key feature of this coating is that it is composed of plant-based protein. Besides increasing the shelf life of food items, the coating can be easily degraded and even recycled.

The majority of processed food items available at retail stores such as meat, fish, cheese, and sausages along with raw perishable items such as fruits and vegetables are packed with single-use plastic to maintain hygiene and also to increase the shelf life. Due to the enormous use of plastic packaging and its negligible degradation rate, the packaging waste slowly tatters into microplastics that eventually find a way to enter the human food chain. The revolutionary food packaging product developed by the researchers will possibly replace the conventional packaging material. The novel coating material does not involve any eco-hazardous plastic and is easy to recycle using normal degradation processes. According to scientists, the novel food packaging material begets more benefits compared to single-use plastic. The proteins present in the coating form a layer of oxygen around the packaged food product. The waxes create an air-tight environment and prevent perishable products such as fruits and vegetables from drying out quickly. Moreover, the coating shows significant antioxidative and antimicrobial effects that help in preserving the meat and fish for longer periods.