MIT entrepreneur looks to use silk waste to prevent food waste


In Boston, a biotech startup called Mori is developing an edible coating that extends the shelf life of food, prevents bacterial contamination, and reduces the need for packaging.  Launched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology assistant professor Benedetto Marelli, the technology extracts fibroin from silk industry waste and applies it to everything from vegetables to steaks. 

The edible protein can be converted into a colorless liquid that, when dispersed, forms a flexible coating for food that extends its viability by a week at room temperature. It also can replace synthetic preservatives in food. 

Mori recently received $50 million in a series B financing to advance production and commercialization. “An edible coating has been a ‘holy grail’ project in the food industry for a long [time],” Tony DeLio, a chemical engineer and executive director at private equity fund MidOcean Partners, tells Neo.Life. “Mori’s silk is interesting in that it also appears to inhibit mold,” he says.