New edible plastic made from milk protein

08-09-2016 | |
<em>Photo: Jan Wil</em>
Photo: Jan Wil

Researchers in the US have developed an edible, biodegradable packaging film, made from the milk protein casein.

Bloomberg reports that the casein-based film is up to 500 times better than plastic at keeping oxygen away from food. It’s also more effective than current edible packaging materials made from starch and protects food products that are sensitive to light.

Flavourings, vitamins, and other additives can be used to make the packaging, and the food it surrounds, tastier and more nutritious.

One of the potential applications could be as a dissolving packet of dried coffee or soup. The researchers expect that it will take some years before the edible packaging can be made available. The developers are at the very beginning of a process of finding applications for a product that has the potential to be “so much better than plastic.”

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor