A new non-woven spun/sprayed-on plant-based fiber material can replace plastic food packaging. Rutgers University and Harvard are developing a polymer nicknamed “APF” (Antimicrobial Pullulan Fiber) allows produce to remain shelf-stable longer. Apparently, you just wash off the non-toxic APF coating when you’re ready to use the produce. In image “e” above, the light green avocado is coated with APF. The dark green avocado is uncoated. In image “f”, the coating is being washed off. Image “g” shows the avocado with the APF washed off, ready for consumption.
Pullulan is a long-chain saccharide that is digestible by humans. It also breaks down in compost in a few days. The process is non-toxic, scalable and reasonably easy to use. The next step will be finding a way to print QR or UPC codes for easy scanning. Now if they can create an at-home APF spinner…
The article is available here. The original paywalled article here. Another article here.
Thanks to Elena Mateo from Alianza Zero Waste Costa Rica for finding this incredible article!