IIT-Madras develop sustainable anti-bacterial food wrapper

Chennai, Oct 12 (UNI) The Indian Institute of Technology,

Madras (IIT-M), today said it has developed a sustainable

anti-microbial wrapping material that could prevent packaged

food contamination by bacteria as well as reduce the plastic

waste generated in the environment while disposing the


This biodegradable food wrapper has an in-built anti-bacterial

compound and was safe for consumption, a release from IIT-M


The IIT-M Team was recently awarded the ‘SITARE- Gandhian

Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Appreciation 2020’ for

their project.

The team of researchers, led by Prof Mukesh Doble, Department

of Biotechnology, have also filed for an Indian patent.

Around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste were produced every


According to waste management experts, only nine per cent of

all plastic waste gets recycled and about 12 per cent has been


‘Further, an estimated 600 million–almost one in 10 people in the

world–fall ill after eating contaminated food and 4,20,000 die every

year’, the release said.

Prof Doble said “Our idea is to design a food wrap that will address

two major issues-solid waste and food contamination during storage

due to bacterial growth.’

‘We have developed a biodegradable wrapping material with in-built

anti-bacterial activity to prevent bacterial growth in stored food. The

anti-bacterial compound should be safe for consumption as it is approved

by the authorities and does not cause any toxicity’, Prof Dobe said.

“The wrapping material we have developed also degrades at various

environmental conditions with the rate of degradation varying from four

to 98 per cent in 21 days. The wrapping material degraded rapidly in

moist conditions when compared to dry ones. Hence, our wrapper is

eco-friendly and can play a major role in plastic waste reduction”,

Prof Doble said.

The films developed by IIT-M researchers were made with polymeric

blends containing starch, polyvinyl alcohol, cyclic beta glycans (CBG).

The composition was optimised to achieve the best film with a smooth

texture, flexibility, uniform thickness and good clarity.

The polymers used were approved by the United States Food and Drug

Administration (FDA).


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