Innovation That Matters

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Could silk proteins help us to protect fresh food?

Food & Drink

The novel coating is edible and made from naturally occurring proteins

Spotted: Acute food insecurity is rising globally, yet around one-third of all food produced is lost or wasted each year. One organisation helping to reduce that waste by keeping food fresher for longer is US-based foodtech company Mori.

The startup has created Mori Silk, an edible protective layer for food made from naturally derived silk protein. Inspired by the Bombyx mori silkworm, Mori Silk uses a patented process involving water, salt, and heat to extract proteins that form the basis of the protective layer. The food-protecting silk protein is water-based, making its application easy to incorporate into existing supply chain processes.

The silk layer works by keeping moisture in and air out, helping to slow down the processes of dehydration, oxidation, and microbial growth, while maintaining a product’s natural levels of vitamins and minerals. Because the layer is made from natural ingredients that make it edible, it is usable with a range of foodstuffs that include meat, seafood, fruit, and vegetables.

Analysis shows that Mori Silk extends the shelf life of items by up to two times, and the protective layer is applicable at any point in a typical food supply chain, whether in the production, processing, or retail stage. Mori Silk saves producers and processors money by reducing loss and waste as well as reducing the amount they need to spend on other, more toxic forms of preservation such as waxes, fungicides, and other chemicals.

There are many different ways to reduce food waste, as featured in the Springwise library. These include biological fungicides and turning discarded food into new – sometimes surprising – products like vermouth.

Written By: Keely Khoury

Website: mori.com

Contact: mori.com/contact

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