Eco-friendly food packaging material doubles shelf-life

25 Feb 2016
The wrap derived from edible elements, was developed by Yi Min (left) and Assoc Prof Thian

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have successfully developed an environmentally-friendly food packaging material that is free from chemical additives, by fortifying natural chitosan-based composite film with grapefruit seed extract (GFSE). This novel food packaging material can slow down fungal growth, doubling the shelf-life of perishable food, such as bread.

Chitosan, a natural and biodegradable polymer derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans, has immense potential for applications in food technology, owing to its biocompatibility, non-toxicity, short time biodegradability and excellent film forming ability. Chitosan also has inherent antimicrobial and antifungal properties. GFSE, on the other hand, is antioxidant and possesses strong antiseptic, germicidal, anti-bacterial, fungicidal and anti-viral properties.