Is a jellyfish protein film wrapping your steak?
In April 2015 a study was published that said that the addition of Wasabi Extract (WE) to a jellyfish protein film (JFP) strengthen the film significantly and made it useful as a food protective film for packaging purposes.
I had no idea that jellyfish were being harvested for their gelatin content, and was amazed that there is now a fishing industry based around collecting and processing Millions of tonnes of jellyfish around the world. Here is a link to read more about this.
There were some other strange, and frankly disturbing things mentioned in this study – such as lizard fish skin gelatine (really), and fish skin gelatine.
Anyway, back to the Wasabi aspect.
Because of the antimicrobial and antibacterial nature of Wasabi incorporating the Wasabi Extract (WE) into the jellyfish protein film, along with other stuff like Sorbitol and TGase. It was found that the strength of the film was improved enough that the film could be used as a food protection film – imagine Cling Film or Food wrap plastic film in a box.
This strengthened jellyfish protein film is biodegradable and therefore could be thrown away into our landfills and road surrounds with impunity. I wonder what the jellyfish protein film degrades into – stink and slime springs to mind.
The study maintains
“anti-microbial and antioxidant JFP ﬁlms could be prepared by the addition of WE.”
“Biodegradable ﬁlms can provide appropriate physical, optical and thermal properties for food packaging such as good flexibility and transparency (Park et al.,2013). In addition, biodegradable ﬁlms can carry anti-oxidant or antimicrobial agent such as essential oils or plant extracts to extend the shelf life of food (Li et al.,2014). In particular, oxidation is the most common cause of quality loss by altering the colour, ﬂavour and texture of the foods during storage “.
They go on with
“It is well known that packaging ﬁlms containing antimicrobial agents are more eﬀective at preventing microbial deterioration than direct addition of antimicrobial agents on foods (Sung et al., 2013). The anti-microbial agents in the packaging materials diﬀuse slowly and continuously. Thus, the antimicrobial activity of antimicrobials incorporated into the packaging material could be maintained longer than that of direct application to foods (Sung et al., 2013)”.
So it looks like the steak you pick from the store in its plastic tray may be wrapped in a jellyfish protein film that has been laced with Wasabi.
Does that make it a Sushi Steak?