In a video published on March 31, 2016 news provider Reuters U.S. reports on a new biodegradable composite film made from chitosan (derived from shells of crustaceans) and grapefruit seed extract (GFSE), developed by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) (FPF reported). The researchers’ goal is to develop an alternative to conventional plastic film (e.g. polyethylene) for use in food packaging. According to Tan Yi Min from NUS, the chitosan-GFSE film does not contain any chemical additives that could be harmful to human health. Further, this new material can roughly double the shelf-life of perishable foods and could potentially help reduce plastic waste pollution. More research is needed to further develop the chitosan-GFSE film and explore its commercial viability.

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Reuters U.S. (March 31, 2016). “New biodegradable packaging doubles shelf life of food.


Tan, Y.M., et al. (2015). “Functional chitosan-based grapefruit seed extract composite films for applications in food packaging technology.Materials Research Bulletin 69:142-146.