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Solving the Global Food Waste Problem With “Active Packaging”

Half of all the food produced worldwide goes to waste. That staggering statistic comes from the researchers at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the United Kingdom.
 With a rising global population, not only do we need to produce more food, we also need to find ways to make it go further and reduce waste.Scientists at the Tecnalia Institute in Spain are aiming to do something about it.
 They’re doing it with “active packaging,” which is designed to preserve food for longer.
 The technology works in three different ways, as one of the researchers, Elena Diaz de Apodaca, explains: “One of them is the incorporation of an active component directly in the packaging material. Another option is the application of a layer of coating to the packaging. The third option is to place an active layer directly on the surface of the product.”
 The team uses naturally occurring anti-fungal agents in the packaging, which they say slows the onset of mold and helps foods like cheese stay fresher – even after the package has been opened.
 So essentially, the process has a duel benefit. It preserves the quality of the food for consumers and, in turn, increases the chance that the food will be eaten and not thrown away. So it’s better for the environment, too.   Source: Date:2/18/2014

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