In 2015, the global production of plastics reached 380 MT with 146 MT used for packaging. About 60% of all plastics produced have been discarded posing a significant threat to our ecosystem and human health. Alternatives such as PLA are expensive and have not been implemented in high volume products. Recently, a new biocomposite has been developed that can be used to create insoluble barrier films, coatings and adhesives. The biomaterial is a form of polysaccharide polyelectrolyte complex created by combining anionic and cationic polysaccharides to form a particulate solution. The solution is cast or applied to paperboard and dehydrated to form an insoluble barrier film or coating or used as an adhesive. The material is projected to cost less than plastic and cellulose is the only polysaccharide available in the 10's of millions of tons needed for packaging products. In this work, extension experts and biomaterials engineers will engage food and package manufacturing companies to identify, specify, develop and commercialize one or more food packaging products using this barrier technology.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/20 → 7/31/23|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $289,939.00