Sustainability : Sustainable Food Packaging from Juice Pulp

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© Janelle -

The Sustainable Food Processing and Packaging Lab on the campus of Oregon State University (U.S.) under the direction of professor Yanyun Zhao researches value-added utilization of fiber-rich food processing byproducts (pomace, hemp fibers, Brewer’s spent grains, etc.) as functional ingredients in a wide range of food products, as bulk materials to produce biodegradable packaging and extract cellulose for novel packaging applications. Especially pomace, the pulpy byproduct that's left after the juice of fruit or vegetables is extracted, serves as base material to various key projects. Working closely with the industry the lab thus far has succeeded in creating compostable packaging and edible films to replace single-use plastic for foods. Since the products are aimed at the commercial needs in the market, materials with specific functionality to meet targeted applications need to be developed. Researchers now focus to improve the performance of their applications and to expand their sustainable food packaging to more items.