The research team says that the films can be made with algae, of which there is an almost inexhaustible supply in the world’s oceans.
Rammohan Aluru and Grigoriy Zyryanov helped develop the edible films. Credit: UrFU / Andrey Fomin
An international group of scientists from India and Russia has created edible food films for packaging fruit, vegetables, poultry, meat and seafood. The films are made from natural ingredients, and the research team behind them says they are safe for consumer health and the environment. In one study The researchers, published in the Journal of Food Engineering, claim the films are water soluble and almost 90 percent dissolve within 24 hours.
„We have developed three types of food film based on the well-known naturally occurring algae biopolymer sodium alginate,” said Rammohan Aluru, senior researcher in the Organic Synthesis Laboratory at Ural Federal University and co-author of per.
“Its molecules have film-forming properties. Sodium alginate is a promising carbohydrate macromolecule that possesses potential film-forming properties upon hydrolysis and is abundant in cell walls as a mixture of various salts. The biggest advantage of sodium alginate is that it acts as a liquid gel in an aqueous medium. „
Alginate molecules have been cross-linked with a natural antioxidant ferulic acid, which, according to the research team, not only makes the film strong, but also homogeneous and stiffer and extends the life of the products.
„Foods stay fresh longer because of the antioxidant components that slow down the oxidation processes,” said Grigory Zyryanov, professor at the Ural Federal University’s Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry.
„In addition, we can complement the film’s natural antivirals by adding things like garlic, turmeric, and ginger, which contain certain compounds that can prevent the virus from spreading.”
According to the authors, no special equipment is required to produce the films on an industrial scale.
“It can also be made in a polymer production facility. The only condition is that it meet the standards that apply to food production. If there is an inexhaustible source of algae nearby (i.e. the ocean), making such films is quite easy, ”said Grigory Zyryanov.