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Research of the Department of Chemistry - 16 October, World Food Day
UA develops food packaging made from potatoes
A investigadora Idalina Gonçalves e uma amostra do bioplástico feito de batata
At first sight, the food packaging developed by the researcher Idalina Gonçalves at the University of Aveiro (UA) looks like those made of plastic commonly used by the food industry and commercial surfaces. But any resemblance to synthesized materials from oil derivatives and that, increasingly, constitute an environmental problem, is only due to the aspect. Developed exclusively from potatoes, UA’s bioplastic for food packaging aims at putting an end to the dictatorship of synthetic plastics. Besides being biodegradable, the new bioplastic’s ingredients promote a better conservation of food when compared to traditional plastics.

Produced from potatoe starch, one of the carbohydrates found in potatoes and whose properties allow to obtain tear-resistent, odourless and tasteless transparent films, the bio-packaging produced in this work was subject to testing that shows it is an effective barrier between the food and the outer environment. The work was carried out in collaboration between the departments of Chemistry and Materials and Ceramic Engineering, the research units QOPNA and CICECO, under the supervision of Manuel A. Coimbra and Paula Ferreira, respectively.

This project is part of a set of initiatives of the UA that aim at finding solutions for the Industry and the Society in general, based on the knowledge of chemistry of polysaccharides: ResPoSta@UA and the skills offer provided by the agrifood platform of the University of Aveiro.

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