Magazine article Science News

Tasteful New Wrapping Can Protect Produce

Magazine article Science News

Tasteful New Wrapping Can Protect Produce

Article excerpt

A novel type of packaging may soon catch the eyes--and taste buds--of grocery store shoppers. Food scientists have just developed packaging films with the color, taste, and scent of apples, strawberries, peaches, carrots, or broccoli.

The edible wraps extend food's shelf life, says Tara McHugh of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Albany, Calif. The materials, made from fruits and vegetables, can reduce the number of layers of synthetic packaging needed around perishable food items and also provide an extra punch of nutrients and flavor, she says. The wraps might also become a new market for cosmetically unacceptable produce, she adds.

Soon, food processors might wrap cut apples in an apple film to prevent browning, McHugh suggests, or protect bananas in a sweet strawberry film and broccoli in an edible broccoli bag. The 21st-century shopper might even purchase a pork roast in a peach pouch that melts into a glaze when baked.

"[The wraps] taste just like fruit or vegetable," says McHugh. "You're adding an additional flavor to the food product--and a healthy component as well." She introduced the materials and preliminary data on their protective properties last month in Honolulu at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.

McHugh created the wraps by pureeing each fruit or vegetable in her laboratory, diluting the substance with water, and then pouring it onto Teflon plates. As the slush dried, it formed a film that she then wrapped around a piece of cut fruit. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.