29 september 2017 14:52
Ukrainian Invention: edible packaging for food
Digestive transparent wrap does no harm to the environment
“The idea, as strange as it may sound, was inspired by dumps. While going near the Municipal solid waste landfill I saw piles of plastic packaging and heaps of plastic bags. This way we will turn the whole country into a garbage field has struck my mind! Polyethylene and thermoplastics as a whole with all the advantages it gives has one major setback it practically does not dissolve under natural conditions. Method of disposing using heat is not an option as it emits a lot of toxic elements. One other point is that polyethylene is made out of crude oil a non-renewable resource meaning sooner or later there will not be what to make it from”, Sergey Tymchuck shared his opinion, scientist of the laboratory of genetics, biotechnology, and properties of bio-feedstock of the Plant Research Institute named after Yuriev.
It took the inventor nearly 15 years to develop the wrap. The base is corn starch.
“Ordinary starch is not suitable. It is comprised of two parts: amylose and amylopectin in the proportion of 25% to 75% respectively. We have come to the conclusion that for the wrap we need the starch with minimum 50% composition of amylose or better still 60%”, Tymchuck explains.
With the use of edible wrap, for example, you can prolong the expiry date of bread from a couple of days to a couple of months.
“Usually a loaf of bread can be kept for one or two days and after that, we dry it. But if you spray the loaf over with our edible wrap the bread stays fresh up to four weeks, even more, you can eat the bread with the wrap”, the inventor added.
And in natural conditions, the wrap dissolves in 4 weeks. The scientist pointed out, that biologically dissolvent packaging materials do not change the taste of the food they do not have any taste whatsoever.
However, it is too early to speak of mass production of such packaging, the technology of production is way too expensive and it is more cost efficient for the businesses now to use polyethylene.