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Mouldy bread

Goodbye mouldy bread?

Anti-microbial packaging could soon be a reality, really. Pharmaceutical company, Janssen Pharmaceutica, and UK advanced plastics manufacturer, Symphony Environmental, have collaborated to create a new type of plastic that helps preserve food and prevent spoiliage. Two years in development, they are now reportedly in discussions with several food manufacturers and supermarkets to adopt the technology. 

The two have also signed a five year supply and marketing agreement that covers this breakthrough in anti-fungal and anti-bacterial technology for plastic applications – a master batch that can be put into plastic products at the manufacturing stage to control dangerous bacteria such as MRSA, E coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Pseudomonas, and Aspergillus Niger; and, in particular, algae and fungi such as M Piriformis and P Roqueforti.

The master batch will provide better protection against bacteria, fungi, moulds, mildew and algae for plastics including packaging, agriculture and fisheries products, semi rigid and rigid containers, medical instruments and pipes.

The agreement provides Symphony with distribution and marketing rights in a large number of countries. The product will be sold by Symphony and co-branded under the d2p brand name.

Tests carried out by Janssen and at other laboratories have proved that the product will increase the shelf-life of bread and cheese, with the potential to do the same for fruit, vegetables poultry, meat and fish. It does this without contaminating the food. Symphony’s board believes that a technology which can give plastic products the ability to protect against this microbial and fungal contamination is a significant development in the sector.

Michael Laurier, chief executive of Symphony, commented: “This technology is an important addition to Symphony’s d2p product range and will be marketed through Symphony’s established international distribution network. The collaboration with Janssen is a significant step forward in the development of our business, as this is ground-breaking technology.

“Spread of infection and food wastage are major global problems. According to the UK government, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink in the UK alone, most of which could have been consumed, at an estimated cost of £12-billion a year. Symphony’s board believes that the potential for the product is significant and we are dedicating resources within our current distribution network to enable revenues to be generated as quickly as possible.

“We are already negotiating with large global users after positive laboratory tests and manufacturing trials with them, and await regulatory approval which we anticipate will be granted during 2014. Commercial sales volumes for food-contact applications are expected to be realised in 2014/15, and for non-food applications perhaps even earlier.”

According to a report in The Telegraph, bread is among the most wasted food, with households throwing away an estimated 4.4 million tons a year – about a third of all domestic purchases.

Symphony Environmental:

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