Great Progress in Edible Packaging Market: Three New Types of Films Developed which can Increase Shelf-Life of the Food
Edible packaging refers to a thin film, sheet, layer, or even a coating that makes up the core part of any food and is eatable in nature. Essentially, edible packaging is a biopolymer that is designed to hold the food together and protect it from getting dirty like normal plastic packaging; however, its unique quality is that it is biodegradable, just like the food it contains.
As a new development in the Edible Packaging Market, a group of scientists has brought forward three distinct types of edible films with the objective of using them for food packaging. This creation is set to be the next big thing in the market as the new films can be manufactured at an industrial level through existing industries. This makes the films an attractive option for the players in the food industry.
Researchers have revealed that films are made up of the seaweed biopolymer sodium alginate. The carbohydrate emerges naturally and has an inborn capability of turning into a liquid gel when immersed in water. The team noted that macromolecules of this compound have potential film-forming properties upon hydrolysis.
In the study, the sodium alginate molecules were cross-linked with ferulic acid. This acid is the precursor of lignin and is available in a variety of plants. The primary use of ferulic acid is as a thickener or a stabilizer. It is referred to as food additive E401 and helps the films acquire several properties such as strength, homogeneity, tensile, and rigidity.
Ferulic acid is known to contain antioxidants, this quality of the acid was extended to the edible film as well. This resulted in an advantage as now the usage of the film also extends the shelf-life of different food products like seafood, vegetables, fruits, and poultry.
The team is positive that they can further improve the film if natural antiviral agents like ginger, garlic, or turmeric are added to the compound that is already developed. Another big advantage of this film is that it can also be produced at a polymer production plant. The only condition being that manufacturers are successfully able to meet the standards prescribed with food-grade products.
Researchers envisage that the films developed by them would come to be manufactured in plants situated on the shores of seas and oceans for the reason that this would ensure a near-infinite supply of suitable algae.
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