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Researchers develop food wrapping that kills bacteria

Canadian scientists have developed a food wrapping that has viruses embedded in it to kill bacteria that cause food contamination, according to a study.

Published in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering on Wednesday (Nov 8), the sugar-glass film could be used in the food packaging and processing industries to help prevent food-borne illnesses, said McMaster University's Professor Carlos Filipe and his colleagues.

The viruses or bacteriophages (also known as phages) in the food wrapping can be kept stable for up to three months. They work by specifically taking out single strains of germs, unlike antibiotics, which wipe out all bacteria.

Phages are naturally found on fruits and vegetables, and do not affect the smell, taste, safety or appearance of food. Because of these characteristics, Prof Filipe and his team decided to investigate these bacteria-eaters' suitability to promote food safety by integrating them into packaging.

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