The quest for better packaging is ongoing in food processing and grocery industries. The better food looks and the longer it lasts, the less it goes to waste, the more customers enjoy it and return to buy from the same source. There is great value in packaging that can extend the life of perishable foods, and this recent development may have something exceptional to offer for food packaging, safety, and display.
Image Source: Fresh Produce Journal
Extending The Life Of Fresh Food By Days
Developed by Dr. Hayriye Ünal, Ph.D. and her team of researchers at Sabanci University in Turkey, a new, experimental type of food packaging is comprised of film that’s coated with antibacterial clay nanotubes. The packing gains its antimicrobial qualities from carvacrol essential oil that’s incorporated into the microscopic clay tubes. The result is a natural defense against over-ripening and growth of harmful pathogens. In experimental conditions, fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat lasted for as long as ten extra days compared to control foods contained in conventional polyethylene packaging.
Image Source: Phys.org
Beneficial For Consumers And Grocers
The added level of food preservation greatly exceeds that of standard food packing, which primarily prevents food from drying out or being over exposed to moisture. As this type of packing plays a more active role in killing bacteria, it extends the life of fresh food and also helps maintain a more attractive appearance. This feature is better suited to a modern, busy lifestyle, in which consumers may purchase fresh food but lack the time to prepare or eat it when it’s at peak freshness. The packaging can also help grocers make produce more attractive to consumers for longer periods of time.
But Is It Safe?
Currently, Dr. Ünal and her team are performing safety tests to ensure the packaging is in no way toxic. Additional tests and work will be required before this type of packing technology can be used commercially.
What are your thoughts on using nanotechnology to keep food fresher for longer periods of time? Comment and tell us what you think.