Silver-laced bottles prolong shelf life of milk
Consumers may soon be able to go for longer between milk-buying trips. That's because Brazilian company Agrindus hopes to start marketing plastic milk bottles that use embedded silver nanoparticles to kill bacteria. Grade A pasteurized fresh whole milk packaged in those bottles can reportedly last for up to 15 days, as opposed to the usual seven.
The technology was developed by partner company Nanox, and involves first coating silica ceramic particles with silver nanoparticles. This reportedly has a synergistic effect, with the silica boosting the antimicrobial properties of the silver.
Those coated particles take the form of a powder that is subsequently mixed into liquid polyethylene. Using blow- or injection-molding, that plastic is then made into bottles which Agrindus plans to sell to dairy goods companies. The particles can also be used to make milk bags, which should extend shelf life from four to 10 days.
While there are definitely concerns about the effects that silver nanoparticles can have on peoples' health and the environment, Agrindus claims that the particles in its bottles remain in the plastic, and don't detach to mix with the milk.
The material is currently being tested in Brazil, and the company hopes to start marketing it to American and European dairies within the near future.