Innovation That Matters

Clove oil and silver creates healthier, eco food packaging


Researchers from Lithuania’s Kaunas University of Technology have developed a biodegradable, anti-microbial material for packaging food.

With hundreds of kilograms of packaging waste thrown away annually by individuals, a biodegradable version could make an immediate impact on levels of pollution. Researchers from Lithuania’s Kaunas University of Technology’s Department of Polymer Chemistry and Technology have developed a biodegradable food packaging material that is also anti-microbial. The World Health Organisation says that hundreds of thousands of people die each year from food borne illnesses, so the new packaging could provide further health-related benefits, too.

The key ingredients in the new packaging are clove ethereal oil and ionic silver particles. The clove oil provides the packaging with additional anti-oxidation properties, which helps keep food fresher longer. The silver particles provide extensive anti-microbial properties, and the packaging degrades naturally in about two years. Researchers are already working on plans to make the material commercially available as soon as possible.

Batteries, six pack rings and plastic bags are three worldwide, ubiquitous pollutants that also have had an eco-friendly upgrade. New designs and materials now enable all three to dissolve or biodegrade while causing no harm to humans or animals. How could smart cities incorporate some of these innovations for larger scale adaptation of the advancements?




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