Monday, 22 October 2012

Flax Contains Natural Antifungals

New Zealand flax
A team of researchers in New Zealand is working on the fibres of the flax plant, traditionally used throughout the world to provide thread and fibres capable of being woven into cloth (linen). Linen and flax fell out of favour when synthetic fibres became popular but now may well come back into favour as synthetic fibres made out of unsustainable oil reserves inevitably become more expensive and less available over time.

In the meantime the New Zealand research group are looking for new applications for New Zealand flax (or harakeke as it is know in New Zealand) and the realisation that it has antifungal properties mean that it could be used in situations where spoilage by fungi is a problem e.g. storage of spoilable foods. It is also of course a natural, sustainable, biodegradable material so is ecologically beneficial where used especially when used to replace synthetic materials.

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