Plasticor changes color when food is not fit for consumption

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Members of the startup team, Plastico. Photo: Hackathon NanoBio.
Members of the startup team, Plastico. Photo: Hackathon NanoBio.
Scientists at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, have designed and produced biodegradable plastic packaging called Plasticor, that shows if food inside is fit for consumption.

The team is now looking for investors to take the product to market to produce it on a mass scale and has set up a crowdfunding campaign on a platform called Kickante​ .

João Vítor Balbino, a biophysics student and one of the seven members of the startup​, who met one year ago at Hackathon NanoBio, said every year, of all the food produced on the planet, 30% (or 1.3 billion tons) goes to trash, according to the United Nations. 

The color change would be a way of better managing food consumption, by giving preference to those whose expiration is closer, plus ensuring the reliability of expired foods that can still be consumed safely.

Our packaging is eco-friendly because it doesn’t use chemical additives and doesn’t take years to degrade​,” said Balbino.

While common plastics can take up to five centuries to degrade, students estimate that Plasticor degrades in six months​.”

The multidisciplinary team from Plastico includes; Balbino, Ana Rafaela, 20, Camila França, 21, Igor Tenório, 22, João Vitor Lira, 20, and Lorena Ballerini, 26, Luiz Menezes, 24, undergraduate students from Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Biophysics and Marketing, a doctoral student of Polymer Science and Technology, and a designer, all from UFRJ.

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