Brazilian company doubles shelf life of pasteurized fresh milk

Inclusion of silver-based microparticles in bottle plastic extends shelf life from seven to 15 days.

05-Aug-2015 - Brazil

Agrindus, an agribusiness company, has increased the shelf life of grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk from seven to 15 days.This feat was achieved by incorporating silver-based microparticles with bactericidal, antimicrobial and self-sterilizing properties into the rigid plastic bottles used as packaging for the milk.

The technology was developed by Nanox, also located in São Carlos. "We already knew use of our antimicrobial and bactericidal material in rigid or flexible plastic food packaging improves conservation and extends shelf life. So we decided to test it in the polyethylene used to bottle grade A fresh milk in Brazil. The result was that we more than doubled the product's shelf life solely by adding the material to the packaging, without mixing any additives with the milk", said the Nanox CEO, Luiz Pagotto Simões.

According to Simões, the microparticles are included as a powder in the polyethylene preform that is used to make plastic bottles by blow or injection molding. The microparticles are inert, so there is no risk of their detaching from the packaging and coming into contact with the milk. Tests of the material's effectiveness in extending the shelf life of fresh milk were performed for a year by Agrindus, Nanox and independent laboratories.

The company now wants to enter the United States, having won approval in 2013 from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to market the bactericidal material for use in food packaging.

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