Canada-based Sentinel has announced that paper packaging applied with anti-microbial polymers can provide an effective barrier against E. coli and Salmonella aureus. According to the company, these antimicrobial agents will eliminate the need for preservatives in food and medicine packaging.
Huining Xiao’s research team at the University of New Brunswick bonded antimicrobial, guanidine-based polymers to starches and applied both onto paper packaging. Thus far, tests have shown the packaging to effectively resist bacteria.
According to the company, the polymer/starch can be applied to the paper via wet-end addition or by surface-coating, and both application methods use standard commercial infrastructure and existing production processes.
“Bonding prevents the polymers from leaching, so it improves the antimicrobial action and its long-term effectiveness. As a bonus, bonding also improves the mechanical strength of the paper,” said Xiao.
According to Sentinel, the anti-microbial polymer physically damages pathogens by disrupting their cell structures. Sentinel cited the following advantages to the polymer: the carrier starch is environmentally friendly, the manufacturing process is straightforward and the polymer is not likely to require FDA approval.