Is Milk the Future of Packaging?


It’s no secret that packaging and food make up most of our waste, and since environmental issues have become so important in today’s society, companies have been forced to take up the fight for the environment and, in some way, change their packaging for a more sustainable future.

Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture have taken a step forward in this trend and developed a packaging material made from milk protein. Not only will it be more sustainable and better for the environment, it will also be edible!

The idea, according to the American researchers, is that this edible packaging material could replace the oil-based plastic alternatives that are often used today. They also state that this new material is biodegradable, which reduces wastes, but can also improve the shelf life of the food it is holding.

‘The protein-based films are powerful acid blockers that help to prevent food spoilage’, says research leader Peggy Tomasula from the American Chemical Society, where the report was presented.

The new material is up to 500 times better than ordinary plastic packaging at keeping oxygen from the food.

Casein in liquid form can serve as packaging and food. It can be sprayed onto cereal flakes and bars. Cereals today are often coated with a sugar formula to keep them crispy and prevent them from getting soggy. With this new formula you’ll have the same effect but much healthier!

‘Unless companies try finding their own applications of the casein packaging, it will be many years before the USDA researchers can make it available’, Laetitia Bonnaillie, a USDA researcher who co-led the casein packaging research, said.

The formula is indeed still being developed as at the moment it still needs extra packaging not get dirty or wet, but who knows what the future holds!

If you want to know more about this incredible invention you can watch their movie here:

We have previously written about vegetable packaging and how one of this year’s trend’s in packaging is edibility. But the questions we had still remain: how are the challenges related to both logistics and marketing going to be handled? We will keep you updated and hope that the scientists will give us soon the answers we are looking for.


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