A new dissolving, microbial film can not only kill bacteria in meat, but is also safe to eat—and so could be incorporated directly into the meat itself.
The Penn State research team developed four versions of the film by embedding different antibacterial materials, such as rosemary essential oil or silver nanoparticles, within a layer of pullulan. Pullulan is tasteless and edible, and will adhere to the meat's surface and slowly dissolve, releasing its antimicrobial cargo into the meat.
Although the pullulan is edible, team lead Catherine Cutter believes that it is more likely the material will be used as a separate wrapping material, since it does not block oxygen as well as plastic. However, Cutter hopes the pullulan material could eventually be incorporated into the plastic itself.
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