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Ocean-derived packaging material fights microbes

By Jenni Spinner+

31-Mar-2014

Oshenite, an ocean-derived mineral used to increase the sustainability of food and beverage packaging, has launched an anti-microbial version.
Oshenite, an ocean-derived mineral used to increase the sustainability of food and beverage packaging, has launched an anti-microbial version.

US Aragonite Enterprises has launched renewable plastic, made from materials culled from the ocean, imbued with anti-microbial properties.

The company’s Oshenite—harvested from ocean waters—is oolitic aragonite, a mineral suitable for use making plastic packaging for food products, beverages, and other applications. The firm has released Oshenite-MHP, treated with CMS Technology’s Fusionite to inhibit growth of bacteria to resist foodborne pathogens, odors, mildew, and algae.

Sustainable resin

Marc Goldenberg, president/CMO of US Aragonite, told FoodProductionDaily the anti-microbial packaging material stands out, thanks to its combination of germ-fighting and sustainable properties.

There’s nothing like it out there,” he said. “It fights bacteria, can bring better performance to packaging, and adds strength—packaging can be down-gauged without sacrificing performance.”

Use of the mineral as an additive in plastic reportedly can increase a package’s sustainability profile and decrease overall cost by displacing petroleum-based resin. The material is harvested in the Bahamas, reportedly with little or no impact to the environment.

Additionally, Goldenberg said, the resulting product can offer increased strength compared to conventional plastics.

Packaging applications

Oshenite-MHP reportedly can be used in a broad range of food and beverage containers, and it can handle high and low temperatures. The material is non-toxic and has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for direct food contact applications.

Current Oshenite users include United Dairy, a Massachusetts-based company that pours its milk products into jugs and bottles made with the material. Also, the material is being used to make beverage cups and lids, food trays, storage totes, bags, and other items.

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