Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fortified Food Wrap Is Good Enough To Eat

Date:
August 5, 2004
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
What do you get when you cross an egg white with a crabshell? You get a thin film that prevents food from spoiling and can be eaten along with the food that it wraps.

Yanyun Zhao, food technologist at Oregon State University, coats fresh strawberries with a new antimicrobial film.
Credit: Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

CORVALLIS - What do you get when you cross an egg white with a crabshell? You get a thin film that prevents food from spoiling and can be eaten along with the food that it wraps.

No joke.

It can even be fortified with vitamins and minerals so the food and the film together make a more nutritious fare.

This super packaging is the latest technology from Oregon State University's Department of Food Science and Technology. The film combines two key ingredients: a fiber from shellfish (chitosan) and a protein from egg whites (lysozyme). Its discovery combines the ingenuity of two OSU researchers: Yanyun Zhao, a food technologist and specialist in value-added products, and Mark Daeschel, a microbiologist and specialist in food safety.

Working with postdoctoral research associate Su-il Park, Zhao and Daeschel began experimenting with ways to combine lysozyme and chitosan to create an anti-microbial food wrap. The product they have developed looks like familiar sandwich wrap, but delivers much more.

Because it is made entirely from food products, the wrap is edible. It's so thin that it doesn't interfere with the texture of the food it covers. And it is made from powerful natural antimicrobials, so it keeps fresh food from spoiling. A patent application has been filed for the technology, which has many potential applications.

"You can use it as a film to wrap foods or you can use it as a spray or dip to coat foods," Zhao explained. "And you can enrich the film or coating with extra nutrients, such as vitamin E and calcium, to boost the nutritional value of the food."

For several years, Zhao has been experimenting with chitosan to develop thin protective coatings for perishable fruits and berries. Chitosan is a key ingredient in crabshells and shrimp shells, the tough exoskeleton that serves as protective armor. She confirmed that the natural polymer in chitosan inhibits the growth of microbes that cause rot in fresh berries and other foods.

At the same time, Daeschel has been experimenting with lysozyme as a natural preservative in beer and wine. Daeschel found that the egg white protein was just as effective as chemical sulfites in preventing unwanted microbial growth, without compromising the taste or quality of the product.

The scientists realized that their two key ingredients each have particular antimicrobial properties that could enhance each other if combined.

"These are naturally occurring ingredients," said Daeschel. "The chitosan is derived from seafood shells, much of which is otherwise wasted. This is a good example of adding value to an existing product."

The next challenge for Zhao, Daeschel and Park will be to develop practical applications for their super food wrap. The possibilities extend to packaging for ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs, sausage and luncheon meat; packing films for cheese slices, blocks and sticks; and coatings for sliced fruits and vegetables that are highly perishable.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Fortified Food Wrap Is Good Enough To Eat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040804082850.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2004, August 5). Fortified Food Wrap Is Good Enough To Eat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040804082850.htm
Oregon State University. "Fortified Food Wrap Is Good Enough To Eat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040804082850.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins