Researchers from Clarkson University in New York, US, have received a $42,000 grant from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) to develop a sustainable food packaging solution.
NYSP2I is a state-wide technology development, transfer, and assistance centre, which aims to promote sustainable practices and solutions across the businesses, environment, and economy in New York.
It is sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The grant has been secured by Clarkson University Chemistry & Biomolecular Science and Egon Matijevic Endowed chair Professor Silvana Andreescu and her team, which includes both graduate and undergraduate students.
The NYSP2I grant has been awarded as part of the inaugural Student and Faculty Research programme, called Food Spoilage Mitigation through Packaging.
This programme helps participating teams facilitate their research projects to develop and design solutions to address some of the real-world challenges in the packaging sector.
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The Clarkson University team, along with Cornell University, SUNY Binghamton, and Rochester Institute of Technology, were among the four teams to take part in this programme.
The Clarkson team will leverage this $42,000 grant to develop a new type of 3D printed packaging, which can be made entirely using green and sustainable sources.
The packaging is expected to feature built-in multifunctional properties that will help in monitoring and maintaining the quality and freshness of food while increasing its shelf life and thereby minimising food wastage.
The team has already completed tests to assess the antimicrobial and sensing properties of its new packaging.
Following this test, the team developed a 3D printing method to facilitate the large-scale production of the solution.
Andreescu and her team also presented their research findings during a symposium titled ‘Keep It Fresh!’, at Binghamton University.