Photo by Georgia Kirkos
© Georgia Kirkos; courtesy of McMaster University

A nonstick wrap that repels bacteria has potentially valuable food packaging applications, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada who developed it.

The self-cleaning plastic surface, which is a specially treated form of conventional transparent wrap, could prevent the accidental transfer of bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria from raw meat products, the researchers explain. Their work, detailed in a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, uses nano-scale surface engineering to create a product that features microscopic wrinkles “to reduce bacterial adhesion, biofilm formation, and the transfer of bacteria through an intermediate surface.”

“We’re structurally tuning that plastic,” says McMaster engineering physicist Leyla Soleymani in a press release. “This material gives us something that can be applied to all kinds of things.” Chemical treatment further enhances the wrap’s repellent properties and provides a flexible barrier that is cost-effective to use.

“We see a big application for food packaging. … Using these wraps either on the production tables or the packaging itself could resolve a lot of issues we’re dealing with these days in terms of contamination [by] bacteria,” says Tohid Didar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at McMaster, in a video featured on the university’s website.

The researchers also see applications in healthcare facilities, where the film could help prevent the spread of disease via bacterial contamination by being shrink-wrapped to often-touched surfaces like doorknobs.

The researchers say they hope to work with a partner on commercialization of the wrap.

More from IFTNEXT right arrow

New coating gives foodborne pathogens the slip

A nonstick wrap that repels bacteria has potentially valuable food packaging applications, according to the researchers at McMaster University in Canada who developed it.

Developing alternatives to the ‘other white meat’

With concerns over contaminated seafood and the environmental cost of beef production, it is no wonder that startups are popping up with a slew of alternatives. However, until recently, innovation in the pork alternatives segment has lagged.

An avocado a day may keep LDL away

Keeping ‘bad cholesterol’ at bay may be as simple as consuming one avocado a day, according to the results of research conducted by scientists at Pennsylvania State University.

New fishing technologies increase depletion of fish stocks

A research initiative at the University of British Columbia called the Sea Around Us conducts research on the fisheries of the world and their effects on aquatic ecosystems.

Latest News right arrow

KIND lowers calorie count on nut bars per USDA research

KIND Healthy Snacks has adopted nutrition research led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS), which found that whole nuts, such as almonds and cashews, contribute 19% and 16% fewer calories, respectively, than previously thought.

Cooking dinners at home more frequently may improve overall diet quality

A study published in Public Health Nutrition suggests that people who often cook meals at home may have a better overall diet.

Almost 50% of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030

About half of the U.S. adult population will have obesity and about a quarter will have severe obesity by 2030, according to a study led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Mediterranean diet may improve kidney health in transplant recipients

A study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggests that consuming a Mediterranean diet may aid kidney health in kidney transplant recipients.