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New Technology Uses Fungi To Transform Food Waste Into Bioplastics

September 18, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
Foodservice companies and restaurants routinely donate unsold products to homeless shelters, food banks, etc. But what to do with the stuff destined for the trash bin? Scientists in Hong Kong may have an answer. With the help of the restaurant chain Starbucks, they have developed a way to transform day-old pastries and other food waste into useful bioplastics and detergents. Using a biorefinery, old stale food, coffee grounds and other food waste is added to a fungus mixture. The fungi eat the waste matter and secret simple sugars that can be made into useful products. Whether consumers will warm to the idea of purchasing food in packages made from “fungus poop” is another story, however.
Ian Chant , "New Technique Could Turn Day Old Pastries Into Plastic, Slight Upgrade From Current Cardboard State", Geekosystem, September 18, 2012, © Geekosystem, LLC
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