A.R.S. develops edible film

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — The Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a method to create biodegradable protective films from biofuel production and dairy processing.

Scientists discovered that combining the milk protein casein with water and glycerol, which is a byproduct of biofuel production, will produce a water-resistant film that may be used as an edible coating for food products.

The food coatings are glossy, transparent and 100% edible, and with the use of renewable resources instead of petrochemicals, scientists may create more biodegradable products and reduce waste. Edible films may help extend the shelf life of a product, protect it from damage, prevent exposure to moisture and oxygen, and improve appearance as regular food packaging does.

Peggy M. Tomasula and colleagues at the A.R.S. Eastern Regional Research Center’s Dairy Processing and Products Research Unit in Wyndmoor, Pa., developed the edible film.

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