New, more ecological and healthier alternatives are continually being sought when it comes to food storage. One of the most studied options is the use of agar.
This polysaccharide is a very interesting option as it is a material whose raw material is of natural origin, renewable, biodegradable and abundant.
Some of the advantages that agar can have as a preservation alternative are:
- They reduce the speed of food decomposition.
- They are not harmful to health.
- They increase the shelf life of food and prevent the growth of some bacteria.
- They preserve texture and prevent oxidation.
- Its consumption is undetectable as it is a colorless and tasteless polysaccharide.
- Its manufacture requires a simple technology
This is due to the perishable nature of food, which brings important factors into play when trying to increase shelf life. This is not only an economic issue for the food industry, but having too short a shelf life is an issue that directly affects the environment: large quantities of food are wasted without being consumed and energy costs for preservation need to be increased.
In our daily lives we are accustomed to the use of plastic materials and preservatives that manage to increase (or at least stabilize) the shelf life of many foods. However, consumers are becoming more and more aware of the products they buy in stores and supermarkets, and with that comes an increasing concern about the quality and preservation methods used. In addition, society has become increasingly concerned about the environment and has rejected the use of plastics and other materials that are harmful to the environment.