Edible Food Packaging Created From Milk Proteins

Posted: Aug 24 2016, 2:35am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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Edible Food Packaging Created from Milk Proteins
Researchers tested their milk-protein film as a packaging for blocks of cheese. Credit: American Chemical Society
  • An Eatable Food Wrapping has been Created from Milk Proteins

Apparently, an eatable food wrapping has been created from milk proteins.

At the supermarket, most of the eatables including flesh products, types of cheese and tidbits come in plastic packaging materials. The problem with this is that plastic is not recyclable and nor is it biodegradable.

Furthermore, the clingy plastic film is not good at preserving the food item. Many deleterious compounds seep into the food through the plastic wrapping too. In order to counter this tendency, the experts are busy in their labs making a wrapping of milk protein that will be edible to boot.

The researchers will showcase their invention today at the ACS. This is the American Chemical Society which happens to be the largest chemical society on the face of the planet.

There will be over 9000 presentations on a range of scientific issues at this venue. These plastic films are very potent oxygen blockers that prevent the food products from rotting. They are ideal for use in food packaging. Spoiled stuff is not the only thing that meets the eye here.

The packaging used nowadays is based on petroleum. Not only is this not sustainable in the long run, it is not biodegradable either. This means that it just sits there creating another source of pollution.

To make a better food packaging, certain scientists are creating an environment-friendly film made out of the milk protein known as casein. These will be 500 times better than plastic.

They will keep oxygen away from the food items they contain. Derived from milk, they are biodegradable, show promise for the future and are worthy of being eaten along with the food product they contain.

Although there are some edible packaging materials available in stores, they are made of starch. This has pores in it and therefore has the disadvantage that it allows oxygen to leak through.

Milk-based packaging has much smaller holes and does not allow the oxygen to come rushing in to spoil the food. The first attempt at making a casein packaging was not very successful since it dissolved in water readily.

Some tinkering was needed. This was done by adding citrus pectin to the chemical mix. This made it tougher and resistant to heat and humidity. The final version is like the plastic packaging found in stores but it is less stretchable.

The fact that it is edible makes it a wonderful replacement of plastic film wrap. It could have vitamins and flavors added to it later on thereby making it very beneficial besides being environmentally-friendly in its nature.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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