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Anti-microbial Packaging Films

Researchers have developed an effective active anti-fungal packaging film to control post-harvest disease in small fruits. By controlling post-harvest diseases, they have been able to extend the shelf life an additional 2-3 days, which is a 50% increase overall. The packaging film uses essential oils to control the growth of pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms through surface interactions between the film and the fruit.

In 2010, the estimated food loss in the United States was $161.6 billon. Of that loss, produce accounted for nearly $30 billion, due to inadequate storage conditions, package failure, spoilage or degradation. The loss of fruits between harvest and point of sale not only create substantial food waste but also represent a loss to producers that increases their per-unit cost of production and a decrease in their profit margin.

This innovative packaging film could be applied to a number of produce products, including berries, which are highly susceptible to water loss and/or bruising due to their lack of protective rind and soft texture. The packaging could also help to reduce spoilage and increase shelf life for food products which are wrapped or field packed for post-harvest transport. Additionally, the technology has been tested against pathogens found on meat products and has been shown to prevent their growth as well.

ADVANTAGES:
  • Extend shelf-life in berries by 2-3 days
  • Potential to apply to other wrapped food products
  • Uses generally recognized as safe (GRAS) essential oils to control the growth of pathogens and spoilage micro-organisms

APPLICATIONS:
  • Packaging for food products


Additional Details

Owner

Kansas State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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