Romanian young scientists receives Danubius Award for natural anti-microbial packaging

Photo credit: (c) Elena STANCIU / AGERPRES STREAM

Dan Vodnar, a young scientist of the Romanian city Cluj-Napoca the inventor of anti-microbial packaging derived from gastropod shell, algae and other natural ingredients has become the first Romanian to receive the Danubius Young Scientist Award, the 2014 edition.

The Danubius Award was created in 2011 by Austria's Federal Ministry of Science and Research (BMWF) in cooperation with the Institute of the Danube Region and Central Europe in order to reward remarkable scientists from the Danube area. For the first time, this year a prize for the young scientists was established.

The award went to Dan Vodnar for international visibility of his work. One of the winning inventions of the young scientists, who works with the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (USMAV) of Cluj, is anti-microbial packaging.

Vodnar has been researching polymers of natural substances for several years. While he was a doctoral student, he studied the possibility of getting bio-plastic from lactic acid.

'I made ballpoint pens of this bio-plastic that can decompose in the nature, in compost, in about five weeks, unlike the conventional pens that decompose in 200 years. As much as 90 per cent of my pen is biodegradable, with 10 per cent taken up by the ink reservoir. Then I was involved in a European project for smart packaging and I tried to find a solution for the issue of ready to eat food that is easy to consume yet equally easy to contaminate. Listeria monocytogenes is one of the bacteria that can trigger food poisoning. Studies conducted in the US indicate that about 15 per cent of the deaths from food poisoning were triggered by this listeria,' said Vodnar.

The anti-microbial packaging is made up of natural...

Continue reading on: