Developing of an antibacterial beeswax wrap using Welsh natural products
- Location: Cardiff University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Academic Contacts: Prof L Baillie
- Project ID: 518405
- Annual Stipend: £11,702
- Application Deadline: 29th February 2020
Approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food per year are wasted, creating both financial losses and causing significant harm to the environment and its natural resources. An estimated 25% of this loss is due to spoilage by microorganisms. While single use plastic food wrappings have been developed to help address this issue there are concerns that they are contribution to global pollution with more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans each year. To provide an environmentally friendly alternative this 12 month MPhil project will develop an antibacterial, reusable food warp based on a combination of beeswax and natural products. Beeswax coated wraps originated in the seventh century BC and consist of wax impregnated cloth which can be shaped around food products to extend shelf life. The reason for this preservation is due to naturally occurring antimicrobial compounds which are incorporated into the wax. We thus propose, based on previous research, to identify naturally occurring antimicrobial plant extracts which following incorporation into the wax enhance its food preserving properties. Prototype wax wrappings with be assessed for flexibility, durability and ability to inactivate food poisoning and spoilage bacteria. As part of the project we will work with industrial partners, Bee1 and the Cardiff School of Business, to develop a marketing concept to support the future commercialization of the product. We are looking to recruit a student with a first degree (at least 2:1) in Pharmacy or microbiology who also has a keen interest in working with nature to develop sustainable product.
To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the convergence area of Wales (West Wales and the Valleys) on registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.
Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.