CelluCoat – University of Calgary iGEM – Calgary, AB
Developing an edible preservative coating for fruit & vegetables to reduce food waste.
|Team Grade Level:||Undergraduate|
|Team Experience Level:||Advanced|
|STEM Focus:||Synthetic Biology|
Each year, over 58% of food produced in Canada is wasted. Remote areas, especially Indigenous communities, are disproportionally impacted, as their food quality is limited by long shipment times. Current preservation methods can cause significant losses in quality, underscoring the need for a sustainable and effective solution. To minimize food waste, we present Cellucoat; a bacterial cellulose-based, edible, preservative coating that is applied directly to the surface of fruits and vegetables to prevent bruising and rotting. We will use recycled fruit waste as a sustainable carbon source to grow our BC-producing bacteria, G.xylinus. To enhance preservation properties, we will insert the genetic sequence for lysozyme – a food safe, antimicrobial enzyme – along with a linker sequence, into E.coli for rapid production. The lysozyme-linker complex will then be immobilized onto our BC for enhanced enzymatic activity. Throughout our design process, we plan to work alongside affected communities and target partners. We believe that Cellucoat is a sustainable, accessible, and equitable solution to Canada’s food waste problem.