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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Technology Update

Air Date: Week of January 5, 2001

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Transcript

GRABER: Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have developed a new "plastic" wrap made entirely out of fruits and vegetables. The simple recipe: Take the fruit or vegetable of your choice, puree, add water, spread it paper thin, and let it dry. Fruits and vegetables contain long chain molecules called polysaccharides, which bond to create a thin film when the puree and water mixture dries. The sugars in the produce help make the wrap flexible. In low humidity, the fruit or veggie wrap keeps out as much oxygen as plastic wrap does, protecting food from spoiling. This technique could provide a new use for produce now too small to be canned or sold fresh. And the film retains the color and the flavor of the original material. So as Marie Antoinette might say: Let them eat cake, and the wrapper, too. That's this week's technology update. I'm Cynthia Graber.

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