Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/24/2011

Next-Generation Food Packaging

 
Next-Generation Food Packaging

Aharon Gedanken and his colleagues are reporting successful lab tests of “killer paper,” a material intended as next-generation food packaging material to combat bacteria that cause spoilage.  However, this food packaging material has a lot of potential for commercial use as well, as a germ-fighting coating for plastics, fabrics, and metals in hospitals, kitchens, and bathrooms.

“Killer paper” contains a coating of silver nanoparticles, providing a powerful antibacterial agent at only 1/50,000 the width of a human hair.  Nanoparticles have long lasting effects, and could be used to combat antibacterial resistance in bacterial strains.

This next-generation food packaging technique can provide an alternative to traditional food storage and preservation methods, such as radiation, heat treatment, and low temperature storage.  “Killer paper” has been shown to kill off potent bacterial culprits like E. coli and S. aureus in just three hours.

If next-generation food packaging takes off, prepare for commercial applications to become prevalent and pervasive as the technology provides an opportunity to fight off bacteria in a wide variety of facilities.

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