Biodegradable packaging for food to be made from wheat straw
Singapore-based Grenidea Technologies has received US certification for its biodegradable food packaging which will be made from naturally abundant materials such as wheat straw fibres or palm oil. The US certification will allow it's biodegradable product to be used in North America and Europe, with it already in use in the Asian market.
The packaging can be used in a wide range of food contact applications, e.g. fresh produce, dried foods, bakery products and frozen foods.
Although the demand for environmentally-friendly biodegradable packaging is important, reflecting consumer and retailer awareness of waste disposal issues. The market is also being driven by legislation, such as the EU's directive on packaging and packaging waste, requiring companies and retailers to cut down on the waste produced by their food products.
Grenidea will be introducing the new packaging into the US market early 2006, targetting the fresh fruit and vegetable packaging section of the market first.
Whilst production of packaging from products such as wheat straw may be environmentally friendly, and cheap for the manufacturers as it uses waste products, it is not known if the manufacturers have addressed or considered the concerns of people with wheat or palm oil allergies, who will be unknowingly forced to purchase food products that are directly in contact with their allergen.