Plant-based packaging could reduce food waste

Last Updated: May 22, 2017
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Plant-based packaging is the innovation that was started to develop four years ago by European scientists. The ecological packaging will be made of biopolymers with the nanoparticle components, this material will reduce the food waste as well.

A plant-based bioplastic packaging extends the shelf life of foods, insist the biologists, the in-built sensors will notify retailers when the food inside is expired. The researcher Åge Larsen of SINTEF is developing the first prototypes of the plant-based packaging, which made of polyactic acid (PLA) and bio-PET (polyethylene terephthalate).

The healthy, safe and smart packaging will be made of biopolymers to which nanoparticle components were added.

plant-based packaging

How plant-based packaging reduce the food waste

The common-used plastic packaging isn’t the perfect option for the environment or human: this package allows the air to entry inside and reduces the shelf life of the food. According to the scientists from SINTEF, the plant-based approach significantly reduces the carbon footprint.

Larsen says that the use of plant-based polymers is an expanding field. For example, biodegradable PLA is manufactured by cultivating carbohydrates via bacteria, while bio-PET are macromolecules derived from plant residues.

The SINTEF have also developed sensors that can detect, for example, whether the temperature of the food has become too high or if a product has soured. One type of sensor consists of nanocapsules containing signal substances. If the temperature becomes too high or the pH value anomalous, the capsule shells decompose and release the signal substances. Simply and obviously, safe and eco-friendly.

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