Seaweeds could potentially serve as bioplastic alternative for packaging industry; seaweed bioplastics are less brittle, more resistant to microwave radiation, more durable than products made using traditional methods, researchers say

LOS ANGELES , August 7, 2012 (press release) – Seaweeds could potentially be used to manufacture biodegradable and high quality bioplastics for the packaging industry, according to a study headed by Professor Rajendran Narasimmalu of VIT University, India that was published in the Journal of Pharmacy Research, Food Production Daily reported Aug. 7.

While bioplastics made from seaweeds are more expensive than products made using traditional methods, they are also less brittle, more resistant to microwave radiation and more durable, the researchers added.

Another advantage of using seaweed is that it is naturally available and easy to cultivate on a large scale, Narasimmalule said.

The technology related to the production of seaweeds-based bioplastics is still in the research phase, the researchers noted. In particular, genetic engineering and fermentation could potentially aid in the development of novel techniques that could make seaweed bioplastic a viable alternative.

Currently, bioplastic production methods include animal, microbial and plant sources. They have a variety of drawbacks and limitations, including the specific conditions required for cultivating bacteria for use in bioplastics, the researchers said.

The primary source of this article is Food Production Daily, Montpellier, France, on Aug. 7, 2012.

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