The SAIP Chicken Wrap Trap
David Thompson Secondary
Floor Location : M 093 N
The world is building up large amounts of plastics and scientists are trying to find ways to reduce it. The purpose of this lab is to create a biodegradable plastic that can store meat in place of foam and polyethylene wrap that is currently used in stores. With a growing amount of packaging being thrown out, a solution is needed to reduce the amount of waste being produced for one-time use meat packaging.
In part one, two types of bio-plastics, being casein and starch-based plastics, were produced in order to select the best option available. In order to meet the requirements for meat packaging, the product must be lightweight, flexible, resistant to oils, fats, and hot and cold temperatures. It must also provide an effective barrier against gases and have good mechanical strength.
Starch plastics possess many of these qualities but lacks the ability to contain moisture. To resolve this, sodium alginate was combined into the starch plastic mixture. This mix proved to be the most successful out of all the mixtures tested, such as calcium chloride infused starch plastic, and both calcium chloride and sodium alginate infused starch plastic.
Sodium alginate infused starch plastic (SAIP) was tested by placing a dime sized piece of raw chicken in the pouch and placed into the fridge at 1°C. The SAIP was able to contain moisture for 24 hours, while a regular polyethylene wrap could hold moisture for over 72 hours. In conclusion, the SAIP product was unable to retain meat moisture for long periods of time because it absorbed it.
With improvements to SAIP products, they could be used to preserve food that needs to remain in drier conditions. With moisture removing characteristics, the SAIP products can replace polyethylene plastics and desiccants thus reducing the buildup of unfriendly plastics in our environment.