Arkansas Patent of the Month – December 2022

Coatings are a great way to extend the shelf life of food products, protecting them from adverse environmental effects. From fruits to vegetables, coatings help control postharvest decay by reducing oxidation and preventing ripening. Wax-based coatings don’t effectively prevent ripening. Protein-based coatings often raise concerns around food allergies. Lipid-based coatings are usually brittle. Starchy, Inc. has developed a starch-based coating that overcomes these limitations, combining a barrier to oxygen, moisture loss, and gasses, preventing bacterial and fungal growth, and limiting ripening.

Startchy is a developer of bio-plastic coatings designed to replace wax and vacuumed plastic for preserving food. Their development is a fully-organic certifiable, starch-based sprayable liquid that can substantially extend the shelf life of produce.

The patented product uses starch in two different forms. The first is a fully gelatinized starch composed of intertwined amylopectin chains. The second is swollen – or non-ruptured – starch granules. When heated, the starch granules swell and become embedded in the intertwined amylopectin chains, improving physical properties needed to extend shelf-life of food products.By using these two forms, the company has minimized changes in properties due to retro degradation which makes the coating suitable for commercial applications.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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