Saturday, 23 Jan 2021
Packaging plays a critical role in food safety and quality as it protects against environmental conditions which may cause contamination and pose a danger to humans. A researcher from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) has now come up with a new novel nano-composite antimicrobial packaging that will help in extending the shelf life of vegetables grown in the country.

SQU researcher invents novel nano-composite antimicrobial packaging

Muscat – 

Packaging plays a vital part in meals security and top quality as it  protects against environmental situations which might result in contamination and pose a danger to humans. A researcher from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) has now come up with a new novel nano-composite antimicrobial packaging that will assist in extending the shelf life of vegetables grown in the nation.

Dr Laila al Naamani, a researcher from the Department of Marine Science and Fisheries at SQU, has invented a novel nano-composite antimicrobial packaging. Her perform was supervised by Dr Sergey Dobretsov,  Centre of Excellence in Marine Biotechnology, and Prof Joydeep Dutta, Royal Institute of Technology KTH, Sweden. The discovery, titled ‘Nano-composite zinc oxide-chitosan coatings on polyethylene films for extending storage life of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus),’ was lately published in the peer evaluation higher influence element Journal of Nanomaterials. The study was carried out collectively with researchers from the Centre of Nanaotechnology at SQU in collaboration with the Food and Water Laboratory Centre in the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.Nanotechnology is manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular and supramolecular level. Nanotechnology permits the creation of new components with novel chemical and physical properties. During the investigation, Dr Laila incorporated zinc oxide nanoparticles of 100nm size into chitosan and coated polyethylene films to fabricate antimicrobial packaging. Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide created from chitin – a significant element of shrimps and crab shells generally discarded as waste.The researchers tested the efficiency of the nano-composite zinc oxide-chitosan antimicrobial coating for the preservation of vegetables. Locally grown okra pods had been stored in the package with or without having novel nano-composite coating. The outcomes demonstrated that the nano-composite coating decreased the quantity of bacteria by much more than 60 per cent compared to okra stored without having it. Moreover, the nano-composite coating showed a two-fold reduction in fungal concentrations in okra compared to the samples stored in package with chitosan only. Additionally, the novel nano-composite coating helped to retain moisture and physical and chemical properties of stored okra. This perform proved that the nano-composite zinc oxide-chitosan antimicrobial coating not only maintains the top quality of the packed okra but also, prevents development of microbes substantially. Overall, this study demonstrated that nano-composite zinc oxide-chitosan antimicrobial coating can be utilized as a prospective coating material for active meals packaging applications.

Information Source: Muscat Daily

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