Science News

Whey to go! - Scientists make edible food wrapper

Sun, 17th Jun 2007

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Scientists at the US Agricultural Research Service in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, have used milk powder and glycerine to produce a water-resistant edible film that could be used to coat or package foods.
Peggy Tomasula and her colleagues have found that high-pressure carbon dioxide can be used as a solvent to extract the protein casein from milk.  Mixing this with water and glycerol and then leaving it to dry produces a water-repelling, flexible film-like material which can keep food fresh but is also completely safe to eat and unlike most sandwich packs, completely biodegradable.  It would also reassure consumers worried about chemicals leaching from plastic wrappers into foods like cheese, because there's nothing in this film that you wouldn't eat normally anyway.


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