Scientists from the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) have developed a packaging film made of shellfish shells, essential oils, and nanoparticles to keep strawberries fresh for up to 12 days.
The film possesses antifungal and antimicrobial properties that help in preserving the strawberries. It is made of chitosan, a type of sugar found in sea shells, blended with the vapor from the essential oils, and synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) which helps prevent molds and pathogens from reaching the fruit's surface. The scientists also exposed the film to radiation and found that it extends the strawberries' shelf life compared to the control group.
The strawberry industry uses blotting paper in packaging the fruit. The film could be easily inserted into the blotting paper to not only help in preserving strawberries but also increase the number of polyphenols that give the fruit its color and antioxidant properties.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications.

Photo Credit: INRS