It's no secret that the plethora of plastic waste produced by food packaging harms the environment... and possibly even your health. However, a new form of biodegradable and edible packaging is here, and it's made from one of your kitchen's most basic staples: milk.
While a large portion of food packaging is recyclable, the plastic film that wraps around everything from meats to baked goods usually is not. Traditional cling film is not only harmful to the earth, but also kind of bad at preventing spoilage, according to the American Chemical Society. Now, a team of researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed an alternate kind of packaging—one that is entirely edible and made from casein, a protein found in milk.
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The revolutionary new material, which will be presented at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society, is not only biodegradable and sustainable, but also up to 500 times better than plastics at protecting the food from oxygen. Researchers utilized a citrus pectin blend to toughen up the protein film and create a plastic-like material that is resistant to humidity and high temperatures.