In search of a sustainable alternative for plastic wrappers, researchers from the University of Alicante in Spain have developed a packing material derived from pineapple waste, which they claim can also extend the shelf life of produce.
The sustainable packing material has a similar texture and composition as traditional saran wrap, but instead of plastic is made from the core and rind of pineapples. Furthermore, scientists claim it is both edible and compostable.
According to their study, pineapples contain active natural compounds with antioxidants that effectively slow the oxidation and deterioration of fatty foods such as red meat.
Arantzazu Valdes and Ana Beltran, co-authors of the study, said their main objective was to develop edible films for the food packaging industry.
Beltran explained that food waste and residues from plants – such as husks, stems, seeds, or bran – contain potentially valuable components such as phytochemicals and bioactive chemicals that are both antimicrobial and antioxidants.
“These functional compounds are essential for food preservation,” she added.
“They are a necessary way for the food industry to contribute to society with the generation of zero waste, address sustainability objectives and integrate into the concept of the circular economy.”
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