The materials scientists have developed edible biokompozit on the basis of egg protein, which allows extending the shelf life of fruits for a week. This coating is easily washed from the surface of the fruit and not affect taste and smell. Article published in the journal Advanced Materials.
According to who statistics for the year 2018, more than 800 million people worldwide are starving. The sustainable development programme of Zero hunger aims to eradicate hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030. According to some estimates about one third of all food on Earth is wasted and not used, which are primarily associated with damage of products during transportation from farms to stores. For fruits and vegetables evaluation worse 40 to 50% spoil before use. The spoilage of food occurs due to processes of water loss and microbial activity.
To date, scientists aim to increase the shelf life of food products by methods which prevent evaporation of water and the growth of microbes. For example, one such known methods — waxing, which manufacturers have long used to increase the brightness of the fruit. But wax is quite difficult to wash off, but because it enters the body where it is broken down by intestinal cells into ions, thereby inhibiting some metabolic processes and destroying the membrane. Other methods include cooling, packing in modified gaseous medium and applying parafinovykh active coatings. However, these methods require additional processing time and increase the cost of the products, and also affect the appearance and taste of fruit. So scientists are looking for alternative approaches to shelf life extension without changing the characteristics of the products.
Muhammad Rahman (Muhammad M. Rahman) and Pulickel of Ajayan (Pulickel M. Ajayan) suggested to extend the shelf life of fruits to use cheap biokompozit based on egg components, the cellulose nanocrystals and curcumin. This coating is easily washed from the surface and does not affect palatability. And in their keeping qualities biokompozit overtook wax and chitosan to extend the shelf life of fruits for a week.