A Sustainable Way to Preserve Food Without Plastic Waste


zero waste flyer


Since the first fully synthetic plastic was invented in 1907, plastic has gone on to become a mainstay in our daily lives. Admittedly, plastic is good for keeping food fresh. However, the continuous use of plastic materials puts the environment at risk because they are not biodegradable, and they end up polluting the environment. Of course, the usual rationalization is that plastic can be recycled. But research has shown that only 9% of the plastic produced ever gets recycled. Thus, it seems this love-hate relationship is not ending soon as the remaining 91% that never get recycled end up polluting the environment.

Well, there is a new smart packaging  with the potential to change how we store food and reduce plastic waste. You read that right; this alternative packaging developed by a team of researchers from the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanotoxicology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and their colleagues at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, is “smart” as it is infused with enzyme-sensing fibers.

The packaging is primarily made from zein, a biodegradable type of corn protein, and other biopolymers extracted from food waste. Zein is gotten from corn gluten meal which is a waste by-product of ethanol production. Essentially, this alternative packaging finds a new use for waste products without adding more pollutants to the environment.

Now to the smart part. The material contains a mesh of nanoscale fibers produced through electrospinning. The mesh is infused with natural antimicrobial compounds to counter the actions of food spoiling enzymes released by bacteria like Listeria. These antimicrobials aren’t released by default. Instead, the nanoscale fibers are programmed to detect increased humidity levels and the presence of food-spoiling enzymes and release small amounts of antimicrobial compounds.

The smart release of the antimicrobials increases the shelf life of the food stored inside. Strawberries wrapped with this new material stayed fresh for seven days before developing mold, two days longer than those stored in regular plastic containers.

With the material still in its early stage of development, coupled with the fact that electrospinning is a scalable technology, we can expect this new smart packaging material to gain widespread use in the near future. The material’s potential to make food storage better is immense, and it comes as a breath of fresh air in the food packaging and environmental sustainability space. Plastic no longer has to be a necessary evil, as we gradually do away with it.

Food Industry Headlines Overview- February 2022

Wheat, Corn And Soybean Prices Surge Amid Fears That Russian Invasion Of Ukraine Will Lead To Higher Food Prices – Forbes

Wheat, Corn, and soybean prices rose in the U.S. on Thursday (Feb 24) after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. This surge has caused wheat and soybean contracts to hit their highest prices since 2012. Both Ukraine and Russia are responsible for more than 25% of global wheat exports – being key suppliers to Europe and the Middle East – as well as 80% of sunflower oil exports and approximately 20% of corn exports.

Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness Welcomes Four New Food Safety PartnersQuality Assurance & Food Safety

The Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness has recently welcomed four new members into the fold – Consumer Brands Association (CBA), Chipotle Mexican Grill, JBS USA, and PepsiCo, Inc. The initiative – which is focused on improving food safety culture throughout the industry – was launched in 2018, and now consists of 18 industry partners.

Coca-Cola brand fairlife hits $1bn markDairy Reporter

Coca-Cola’s dairy-focused “fairlife” brand is the company’s latest product line that has managed to surpass $1 billion in annual retail sales. The brand, which was founded just a decade ago in 2012, includes protein shakes, ultra-filtered lactose free milk, and light ice cream. Coca-Cola’s fairlife products are currently sold by retailers throughout the US, Canada, and China.

Food and drink prices are going up. CEOs say consumers aren’t changing their shopping behavior yetCNBC

Several food and beverage manufacturers have stated that consumers are not changing their shopping trends, even in the face of rising food and drink prices. Walmart – one of the most prominent retailers – stated last month (Feb 2022) that consumers are fully aware of the change in prices but there hasn’t been any noticeable difference in their behavior as of yet.

Global Health Food Market Projections (Functional Food, Drinks & Supplements)


Recent reports published by Research&Market.com projects that the global food market will reach US$557.6 billion by 2024 with a CAGR of 7.15% . The report attributed the growth in the market to growing consumer focus on the nutritional values of food. With US as the fastest regional market, which is driven by the high level of awareness of the people on the health benefits of food.

Here are quick highlights from the reports:

Factors Driving The Projections:

  • Sales of Organic Food
  • Rising Consumption of Vegetable Oil
  • Growth of Geriatric Population
  • Rising Demand For Transparency
  • High Cost of Healthy Food In Low/Middle Income Countries

Notable Trends Includes:

  • Increase In Demand For Energy Drinks
  • High Adoption of Meat Alternatives
  • Growing Consumer Interest In Achieving Health Goals
  • High Demand For On The Go Dietary Supplements

For more information visit: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/