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Organization

Health Innovations

Cambridge, MA | https://www.healthinno.org/
Joined in January 2020

About Us

Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Food Sustainability:


Health Innovations has developed a smart food packaging technology that changes colour when the food gets spoiled. Our technology provides a visual indicator of food spoilage or expiration, thus reducing the confusion relating to 'food labels’. Consumers using SpoilerAlert food packaging technology can consume the food until the food packaging changes colour thus increasing the shelf life of food, reducing carbon footprint and addressing food inequality.


Alternatives to plastics:


There is immense need to produce packaging plastics from renewable resources. Plastics are often used to protect food from oxygen and water, and due to not being produced by renewable resources, they are difficult to recycle or biodegrade. Chitin, a natural sugar compound and the second most abundant biopolymer in nature, is a sought after bio-derived material for its high stiffness, strength, and protective barrier properties and its natural nanofiber structure. Current extraction and processing techniques rely on strong acids and bases or volatile organic solvents that reduce chitin’s sustainability and diminish its natural properties. Thus, there is a need for a processing method that retains the properties of chitin while producing a functional product.


Health Innovations has created a method for producing plastic films made from poly (glucuronic acid), chitosan, and PEG (polyethylene glycol) to protect products from exposure to oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and a variety of other gas species. The elements have oxygen permeability lower than PET and water vapor permeability that is similar. The method for fabrication utilizes the TEMPO oxidation procedure to produce poly(glucuronic acid) from cellulose, and allows for crosslinking of chitosan and poly(glucuronic acid), following a heat treatment, into free-standing films. Resulting films have improved flexibility compared to neat cellulose or chitin films. Through utilization of this procedure, the resulting membranes have oxygen barrier properties that are lower than many well-known engineering polymers. This unique extraction and processing method allows for chitin to be formed into self-standing films that can be handled as a single sheet without compromising the properties of the chitin nanofibers. These pure chitin films show high stiffness, strength, and favorable barrier properties to protect against exposure to oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and a variety of other gas species.This is the first reported use of these three components to form membranes with high oxygen barrier properties.

Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

Food Sustainability:


Health Innovations has developed a…

Issue Areas Include

  • Climate Change
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Hunger, Food Security

Location & Contact

Photos for Health Innovations

  • Plastic pollution
  • Food waste

Current listings by Health Innovations

Volunteer +LocationDate Posted
Market Research in food sustainabilityOnline/VirtualApril 9, 2020
Grant Writer VolunteerOnline/VirtualApril 8, 2020

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