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Are Shrimp Carcasses the Next Packaging Innovation?

Shrimp meat is available almost everywhere you go, the vast majority of it already peeled making it easy for you to throw up a quick meal. What happens the shells that the meat was encased in though? Around 100 million pounds worth of shells are accumulated each year in the US from shrimp, crab and crawfish combined.  This a whopping amount of shell and it is generally discarded of as waste.

A new idea however could possibly change this.  A group of researchers at the University of the Basque Country in Spain are currently experimenting with the shells as packaging. Packaging at the moment is typically made from plastic that is unsustainable due to its petroleum properties. As a result the packaging clogs up the ocean and landfill sites. Every year plastic packaging kills seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other ocean marine life. It is also possible that fish are absorbing the pollutants caused by packaging which in turn are then digested by people who eat the fish. 

Shrimp shells however could bring about the invention of a new type of packaging, one that is sustainable and poses no threat to the environment.  Chitosan, a component from crustacean’s shells is often found in dietary supplements for its supposed fat absorbing qualities. The researchers however are using chitosan as a possible film to preserve food products. Already tested on baby carrots, the film proved to keep them fresh.  Capable of protecting food from microbes the film has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  Chitosan is already used for fighting fungal infections in plants, to prevent spoilage in the fermentation of wine and is even used in bandages to help wounds heal quickly.  It is these properties that caused researchers to believe that chitosan was a suitable material for preserving food. 

Itsaso Leceta, the groups head researcher has stressed that finding a replacement for plastic food packaging is urgent.  The level of waste packaging that is produced is so much that it is having adverse effects on our planet, killing our marine and wildlife. 

Lecetas researches aren’t the only people to have thought about the use of chitosan as a packaging. Harvard’s Whyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said chitosan is “the second most abundant organic material on earth.” (Source - http://munchies.vice.com/articles/scientists-want-to-package-your-potato-chips-in-shrimp-carcasses) It is easily gathered from shrimp and crabs but can also be collected from copepods and plankton sizes crustaceans that are capable of producing billions of tons of the component each year. The researchers have already experimented with cups but are confident it could also be used to make bin bags, carrier bags and nappies, some of the biggest offenders of land and water pollution.   

Image source - http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/food/20130116/do-this-with-your-shrimp-shells


32 Comments


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Are Shrimp Carcasses the Next Packaging Innovation?

Shrimp meat is available almost everywhere you go, the vast majority of it already peeled making it easy for you to throw up a quick meal. What happens the shells that the meat was encased in though? Around 100 million pounds worth of shells are accumulated each year in the US from shrimp, crab and crawfish combined.  This a whopping amount of shell and it is generally discarded of as waste.

A new idea however could possibly change this.  A group of researchers at the University of the Basque Country in Spain are currently experimenting with the shells as packaging. Packaging at the moment is typically made from plastic that is unsustainable due to its petroleum properties. As a result the packaging clogs up the ocean and landfill sites. Every year plastic packaging kills seabirds, whales, sea turtles and other ocean marine life. It is also possible that fish are absorbing the pollutants caused by packaging which in turn are then digested by people who eat the fish. 

Shrimp shells however could bring about the invention of a new type of packaging, one that is sustainable and poses no threat to the environment.  Chitosan, a component from crustacean’s shells is often found in dietary supplements for its supposed fat absorbing qualities. The researchers however are using chitosan as a possible film to preserve food products. Already tested on baby carrots, the film proved to keep them fresh.  Capable of protecting food from microbes the film has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.  Chitosan is already used for fighting fungal infections in plants, to prevent spoilage in the fermentation of wine and is even used in bandages to help wounds heal quickly.  It is these properties that caused researchers to believe that chitosan was a suitable material for preserving food. 

Itsaso Leceta, the groups head researcher has stressed that finding a replacement for plastic food packaging is urgent.  The level of waste packaging that is produced is so much that it is having adverse effects on our planet, killing our marine and wildlife. 

Lecetas researches aren’t the only people to have thought about the use of chitosan as a packaging. Harvard’s Whyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering said chitosan is “the second most abundant organic material on earth.” (Source - http://munchies.vice.com/articles/scientists-want-to-package-your-potato-chips-in-shrimp-carcasses) It is easily gathered from shrimp and crabs but can also be collected from copepods and plankton sizes crustaceans that are capable of producing billions of tons of the component each year. The researchers have already experimented with cups but are confident it could also be used to make bin bags, carrier bags and nappies, some of the biggest offenders of land and water pollution.   

Image source - http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/food/20130116/do-this-with-your-shrimp-shells


32 Comments


thequantumprint said…
Such an amazingly enamoring substance a commitment of appreciation is all together for sharing. Also take a gander at
Plastic inserts for boxes
CodySayers said…
Thank you for sharing about this information. I was totally unaware about it before reading this blog and article. Now I have got to know about this innovative information and also got the opportunity to write my research paper to manage my thesis work. Keep sharing such kind of more information with us.
SHZ said…
Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share. Aluminium ramen
SHZ said…
Took me time to understand all of the comments, but I seriously enjoyed the write-up. It proved being really helpful to me and Im positive to all of the commenters right here! Its constantly nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I am certain you had enjoyable writing this write-up. Ramen en deuren
SHZ said…
This is truly an practical and pleasant information for all. Thanks for sharing this to us and more power Aluminium ramen en deuren
SHZ said…
It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act. Ramen
SHZ said…
Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon. Ramen en deuren aluminium
SHZ said…
Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Ramen deuren
SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
You might comment on the order system of the blog. You should chat it's splendid. Your blog audit would swell up your visitors. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! Houten ramen
SHZ said…
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Houten ramen en deuren
SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us.Great site and a great topic as well i really get amazed to read this. Its really good. Nieuwe ramen
SHZ said…
Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. Zwembad aanleggen
SHZ said…
wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i'm a bit clear. I've bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. Ramen kopen
SHZ said…
Hi, I log on to your new stuff like every week. Your humoristic style is witty, keep it up EPS
SHZ said…
wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i'm a bit clear. I've bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. Nieuwe ramen kopen
SHZ said…
Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!. Ramen en deuren
SHZ said…
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Isolatie muur
SHZ said…
I truly like you're composing style, incredible data, thankyou for posting. Ramen deuren
SHZ said…
I finally found great post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark sites. thanks.Quality posts is the crucial to invite the visitors to visit the web page, that's what this web page is providing. Muurisolatie
SHZ said…
I just couldn't leave your website before telling you that I truly enjoyed the top quality info you present to your visitors? Will be back again frequently to check up on new posts. Ramen en deuren kopen
SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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SHZ said…
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