In an article published on April 18, 2017 by news provider Bakery and Snacks, editor Jenny Eagle reports on a new biodegradable nanocomposite film made from sweet potato starch, thyme essential oil, and nanoclay. The bio-film was developed by scientists at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (A&T) State University, U.S., in the scope of a project on the development of nanocomposite films funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The scientists incorporated nanoclay and thyme essential oil into a sweet potato starch film, Eagle explains. Nanoclay improved the film’s firmness, water gain, and water vapor permeability, while thyme essential oil provided for antibacterial properties, Eagle writes. Combined, nanoclay and thyme essential oil improved the film’s tensile strength, elongation, and color values, Eagle further illustrates. According to Reza Tahergorabi, assistant research professor at North Carolina A&T State University, “the major impact of this project is that the developed biodegradable film could be used for the packaging of different types of fresh fruits and vegetables to replace some existing plastics.”

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Jenny Eagle (April 18, 2017). “Scientists create bio-film from sweet potato and thyme.Bakery and Snacks

Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association (March 8, 2017). “News: Sweet potato and thyme make bio-film with nanoclay.