Leaders in the food packaging industry are looking for ways to move away from plastics that harm the environment, and new technologies are in development to help accomplish their goals.
For instance, France-based Carbios is developing the first biological technology to transform the end-of-life of plastics, says Martin Stephan, deputy CEO of Carbios. The company has developed a novel enzyme that can biologically depolymerize all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste so that it can be efficiently recycled into new bottles. PET, the most common thermoplastic polymer, is used to manufacture bottles, polyester clothing fibers, and food containers.
Current recycling processes, which are mechanical rather than biological, are not able to break down the plastic to its original form. As a result, the recycled products they produce do not meet the same quality standards as original PET plastic.
Carbios’ process is “truly a recycling process, not just reuse,” Stephan says. “Any kind of PET post-consumer waste, including a transparent bottle, colored bottle, opaque bottle, or mixed packaging, is used as a raw material to make any kind of PET product, with the same quality and specifications as a ‘virgin’ PET.”
The enzyme that Carbios has developed and optimized is so selective that PET—“and PET only”—is broken down into monomers, Stephan says. Anything left in the waste stream, such as other polymers, paper, or adhesives, does not influence the process. The process operates at biological temperature, with hydrolysis at 72°C, atmospheric pressure, in water.
The food and beverage industry has made bold commitments to use more and more recycled plastics in their packaging to help reduce plastics pollution in the world, but “the objectives that have been set cannot be met with the current technologies of mechanical recycling,” Stephan says. He believes that Carbios’ technology can help food and beverage companies meet their goals for using recycled plastics because it allows for the recycling of any PET post-consumer waste, and can produce new PET plastic at quality levels that are approved for use with food and beverages.
The dangers of a high-sodium diet have been well documented, but a new technology devised by scientists from Washington State University could help reduce sodium in processed foods while retaining taste and texture.
A study found that people who drank beverages that contained the low-calorie sweetener sucralose did experience metabolic problems and issues with neural responses but only when the beverage was formulated with both sucralose and a tasteless sugar (maltodextrin).
As health-conscious consumers seek refreshing, flavorful, and satisfying alternatives to traditional alcoholic beverages, no- and low-alcohol beers, spirits, and mocktails are gaining popularity, spurred by innovations in flavor, function, and variety.
Panasonic 2020 Food Services & Food Retail During COVID-19 report.
A discussion of the use of VeriVin Raman spectroscopy technology to detect wine fraud.
Microbial fermentation is establishing itself as a true third pillar of the alternative protein industry, on par with—and enabling—parallel advances in plant-based proteins and cultivated meat.
Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus.
The report, prepared by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in coordination with the Office of the Chief Economist, summarizes market conditions, fed cattle prices, boxed beef values, and the spread before and after the fire and plant closure at the Tyson Holcomb, Kan., plant, and before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Coca-Cola Co. said it believes the biggest challenges of the pandemic are behind it, despite the current surge in coronavirus cases in many parts of the United States.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a draft approach that aims to harmonize assessments of the intake of these nutrients, the potentially hazardous properties of excessive intakes, and the overall risks for consumers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that routine inspections of small businesses to verify compliance with the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Intentional Adulteration (IA) rule will begin in March 2021.