A novel composite film — created by the bonding of an antimicrobial layer to conventional, clear polyethylene plastic typically used to vacuum-package foods such as meat and fish — could help to decrease foodborne illness outbreaks, according to researchers in Penn State
’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The antimicrobial lining of the film is comprised of a pullulan-based biopolymer produced from starch syrup during a fermentation process, which is already approved for use in foods. Development of the composite antimicrobial film is important because 76 million cases of foodborne illnesses occur each year in the U.S. alone, resulting in 300,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NIFA helped supported this research.
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