(telegraph.co.uk) Scientists put edible clingfilm on the menu

Submitted by Editor on Sat, 07/08/2004 - 13:16

Hungry summer picnickers will soon be able to tuck into their sandwiches, sausages and pork pies without having to take the clingfilm off first, writes David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent.

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(Filed: 07/08/2004)

Scientists have developed a wrapping that not only keeps food fresh but can also be safely eaten.

The film, which contains natural preservatives, can be fortified with vitamins and minerals. Used in liquid form, it can also be sprayed on fresh foods such as fruit to keep them fresher.

Dr Yanyun Zhao, a food technologist at Oregon State University who helped develop the film, said: "You can use it as a film to wrap foods or you can use it as a spray or dip to coat foods.

"And you can enrich the film or coating with extra nutrients, such as vitamin E and calcium, to boost the nutritional value of the food."

Dr Zhao and his colleague Dr Mark Daeschel, a microbiologist, invented the wrap after experimenting with chitosan, an ingredient in crab and shrimp shells, and lysozyme, a protein from egg whites.

Dr Daeschel said: "These are naturally occurring ingredients. The chitosan is derived from shells, much of which is otherwise wasted. By combining the two, we have added greater value."

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