Aaron L. Brody

Everywhere you look, in malls, on the street, in cars, people are eating and drinking. Sometimes the food is partially wrapped, sometimes the food is extracted from a container, and sometimes the food and its package are one—consider the banana and hard-boiled eggs still in their shell. And some of the containers are edible, such as the ice cream cone and the edible hot dog casing.

Uncoated peanuts (left) and peanuts coated (right) with a whey protein–based oxygen-barrier film. Packages are often multilayer because they have to include an oxygen-barrier layer and a moisture-barrier layer. Forming the oxygen barrier as a coating on the peanuts allows simplification of the package, reducing cost and potentially improving recyclability.Food packagers devote their careers to protecting the edibility of foods while minimizing the mass of external mater…

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