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Food Packaging Sterilization

Edible Packaging Benzalkonium Chloride Agar NASA Space Food Packaging Sterilization

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#1 OrbitGang


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Posted 12 February 2019 - 06:47 PM

Hello, we are a seventh-grade gifted class working on a project to reduce waste in space. Our idea was to make the food packaging in space edible. However, we ran into the issue of keeping the outside sterile. We have been doing some research, but we are pretty unknowledgeable in this subject. We concluded that the next step in our process would be to reach out to a professional. We were wondering if you could give us some understandable background information on this topic. We also wanted to know the safest ways to sterilize surfaces, and if there is a way to have sterilized surfaces that are safe to eat. We also found Benzalkonium Chloride and thought it would be helpful to keep contamination out. We were wondering about dosages that would be safe to consume without it being unsafe or any other background facts.


Thank you so much for your help,


Orbit Gang


#2 Ryan M.

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Posted 14 February 2019 - 06:54 PM

The the sterilization need to occur in space or inside a space station?  Basically, off earth?  That would impact the type of sterilization method.  You could use heat, chemical, or other means like irradiation or UV light.  Each of those methods have benefits and drawbacks / challenges.  It may be easiest to decontaminate the packaging as much as possible on earth and package in such a way to prevent contamination, and then do a "light sterilization" in space.

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#3 Charles.C


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Posted 14 February 2019 - 08:36 PM

There is considerable (non-extraterrestrial) discussion on this topic in textbooks on aseptic food packaging systems / cleanrooms.


IIRC one recommended technique was to use H2O

Kind Regards,



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