22 October 2023

Biodegradable food packaging has become a real thing

By ruiiid5

In the last 20 years, there has been a growing need for environmentally-friendly packaging. Biodegradable packaging is a term used to describe films and coatings made from organic and microbial materials. Biodegradable materials are made with a polymer structure that can be broken down by bacteria, other microbes and fungi. They must decompose into CO2 and water within 180 days. Biodegradable products offer many benefits.

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Biodegradable packaging types –

Microbial Polymers – Microbial polymers can be used as a substitute for synthetic plastics for packaging. Examples include:

BIOPOL is a copolymer made from hydroxybutyrate and hydroxy-valerate, obtained from soil bacteria Alcaligenes eutrophus.

Edible Films and Coatings – If you place an edible film on top of the food, or form it on the food itself, this will ensure that your food is delivered intact and safe to consumers. The edible films and coatings are also available in the form of pouches or bags. Edible coatings are not only a safe way to deliver the product, but they can also improve the mechanical integrity. Packaging is an integral part of the food and must therefore meet certain guidelines. For Contract Packing Services, consider wyepak.co.uk/contract-packing

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– It should be transparent, tasteless and odourless (neutral organoleptic).

– The seal must be tightly sealed against water vapour to prevent desiccation.

It must be able to provide a barrier that prevents microbial growth (minimising decay and spoilage).

Coacervation is used to form edible coatings or films. Examples include:

– Lipid films, including natural waxes such as beeswax, rice bran, candle wax, and carnauba; vegetable oils, such as palm oil, soybean, and corn oil; and acetylated Monoglycerides.

– Films of protein, including polypeptides (wheat), corn, soy (milk), and collagen (gelatin).