Researcher in Spain reportedly developing bioplastic by extracting poly-hydroxy-alcanoates from olive skin residue

LOS ANGELES , December 5, 2011 () – Spain-based researcher Jesus Zorilla has reportedly developed a method of extracting poly-hydroxy-alcanoates from residues of olive skins in order to produce bioplastic ideal for food packaging, Olive Oil Times reported Dec. 4.

The researcher is using olives from a region east of Andalucía called Sierra de Segura in the Spanish province of Jaen. A press release from the regional council claimed that Zorilla used byproducts from the region’s olive oil mills to make the bioplastic material.

The press release added that the material would not only be suitable for packaging food, but it would be perfect for olive oil as there is no risk of carcinogens migrating into the oil, a risk that exists with petroleum-based polymers, the press release added.

About 30,000 kilos of bioplastic could be derived from approximately 10,000 tons of olives, the press release noted.

Olive Oil Times reported that the researcher, Zorilla, is currently pursuing a patent for the bioplastic as well as funding from a packaging or research and development firm to support remaining research.

The primary source of this article is Olive Oil Times, Newport, Rhode Island, Dec. 4 2011.

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