Edible films created by Samara Polytech

Russia: Samara scientists invent edible packaging

A project team from Samara State University aims to improve the technology of edible packaging. Originally, the product was designed for astronauts' nutrition. According to the Head of the Project Team and the Head of Food Technology and Catering Department, Nadezhda Makarova, the project was aimed at the space menu modification. "We tried to create a packaging to store food, heat it and then eat it along with the food. Other sorts of packaging materials are inconvenient in space: it is difficult to dispose of them," she said.

As a result, Samara scientists invented a unique food wrap. There are already several examples of such packaging but they are only partially edible. The analogues of the edible films consist not only of natural raw materials but also of artificial additives. Therefore, a human body is not able to fully digest it. Samara Polytech scientists created a packaging based on fruit or vegetable puree which consists of natural ingredients. Moreover, the product is very low on caloric value.

The Project Team members created more than 500 experimental edible films samples. The samples have high levels of material strength and are able to compete with the materials made from cellulose. Currently, the project team is trying to patent its invention.

According to eurekalert.org, the production of ‘food films’ can help in solving the problem of garbage disposal. A common polyethylene film takes 500 years to decompose, while the edible packaging created at Samara Polytech decomposes just as quickly as apples do.

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