Belarusian scientists come up with antibacterial paper for food packaging
MINSK. KAZINFORM Scientists of the General and Inorganic Chemistry Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) have developed a technology to make a new type of wrapping paper. It is an active material that can make stored food stay fresh longer, the NASB press service told BelTA.
The institute's Director Anatoly Kulak said that the new paper has bactericidal qualities and can substantially increase the shelf life of perishable commodities such as vegetables, fruits, baked goods, sliced sausage, cheese, and confectionery goods sold in bulk. The paper is imbued with a set of reagents to be able to suppress the ability of microorganisms to proliferate, BelTA reports.
It is worth noting that the reagents are harmless. They are categorized as food additives and hold on to the paper so strongly that virtually nothing is transferred to the food that comes in contact with the wrapping. Unlike traditional plastic wrapping materials the new one is totally biodegradable. It is kind of a breathing material thanks to its microporous structure, Anatoly Kulak explained.
The new paper is now made by the Borisov-based enterprise Paper Mill Goznak.
This year the General and Inorganic Chemistry Institute intends to work out technologies to manufacture new kinds of wrapping paper by enhancing its functional qualities and expanding the lineup of products. For instance, water-resistant, fat-resistant, high-strength paper with biostatic qualities may be created.
Food industry often uses paper imbued with fluorine-containing polymers, for instance, for wrapping butter. «Our product will not contain fluorine-containing polymers but only biodegradable polymers. We are also working on paper that can regulate the ripening of fruits: depending on its composition such paper will be able to slow down or accelerate the ripening of fruits. The new products also include packaging solutions for long-term food storage. They can absorb and chemically destroy the substances that food produces in storage. The new product will allow reducing smell permeation through packaging. To achieve this effect, we add non-organic oxidic compounds to paper. We are considering adding silver nano-particles,» the official said.