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Thursday, March 14, 2019

A natural spray to preserve food, the sunset of plastic film

Eliminating the use of plastic is a decisive step in the way to conserve the planet, hence biodegradable alternatives have been developed such as silicone bags or waxed fabrics. The latest advance, a natural protective spray.
The initiative came after several years of research and tests developed by Portuguese scientists at the Mountain Research Center of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragan├ža (northern Portugal), the coordinator, Isabel Ferreira, explained today to EFE.
The key lies in the extract of a common plant and a polymer of algae from which this spray has been created to spray solid foods and protect them for a period of time.
"At the moment, we can not disclose the formula achieved or the plant from which the extract is obtained," Ferreira said, since the process for registering the patent is not yet complete.
They have baptized it with the name of "Spraysafe" and it is a type of technology obtained from a series of experiments with plant extracts with antioxidant, preservative and antimicrobial capacity.
All its components have a natural base, so it is sustainable.
"As in plant extracts there are antioxidants, the spray reduces the oxidation of food", that is, their fats do not get rancid, according to the coordinator.
A second benefit is "its antimicrobial capacity, since it reduces the growth of fungi, yeasts and bacteria".
In addition, it waterproofs the food, which reduces its dehydration and, in that way, allows to better maintain the flavors and aromas.
Isabel Ferreira also highlights other benefits of its application, especially for large commercial areas.
The spray allows to gain time on the plastic packaging, which will result in an economic benefit and, above all, will report progress in compliance with the conservation policies of the planet, the researcher argued.
Among the limitations of the "Spraysafe", to date, figure that can only be used with solid foods.
"At this time, it is mainly applied to solid foods, such as sausages, cut fruits or mushrooms, among others," explained Ferreira, who was hopeful to be able to use this spray in other types of products, once, later, can adapt the technology developed with other natural polymers.
Although "it is still premature", from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragan├ža they hope that in the near future they can use and commercialize the "Spraysafe".
At the moment, the spray has to go through the approval process of both the official bodies of Portugal and the European authorities, in particular the European Food Safety Authority, which will be the one that, in a final evaluation, will give validity so that can be marketed
As a test, Portuguese researchers have found that foods such as mushrooms or cold cuts are very well preserved if they are protected with the "Spraysafe". EFE

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