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Tasteful new wrapping can protect produce

A novel type of packaging may soon catch the eyes--and taste buds--of grocery store shoppers. Food scientists have just developed packaging films with the color, taste, and scent of apples, strawberries, peaches, carrots, or broccoli.

The edible wraps extend food's shelf life, says Tara McHugh of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Albany, Calif. The materials, made from fruits and vegetables, can reduce the number of layers of synthetic packaging needed around perishable food items and also provide an extra punch of nutrients and flavor, she says. The wraps might also become a new market for cosmetically unacceptable produce, she adds.

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