May 5, 2022

Potato starch being used to create quicker degrading plastic by Idaho company

Excess starch from processing potatoes can lead to headaches for anyone making potato-based products in large quantities. Fortunately, there are numerous uses for potato starch, including spirits and coating for seasoned curly fries.

Add another possible use: Eco-friendly plastic.

Since 2011, BioLogiQ, an Idaho Falls, Idaho-based company, has been experimenting with potato starch-based plastic, a technology that degrades faster than traditional plastic. The Idaho Statesman has the full story.

When BioLogiQ’s technology is combined with other plastic products, company CEO Steven Sherman told the Statesman, it allows the plastics to degrade faster because organisms that eat plastic have an easier time breaking down starch and glycerin.

Detroit-based potato chip maker Better Made Snack Foods ran into a problem with excess potato starch from its cooking process, which it previously dumped into the city’s water system. The Great Lakes Water Authority started charging companies based on what they were putting into the water supply, which led to hefty bills for Better Made.

The company responded by adding a starch-removal centrifuge, which collects up to 6,000 pounds of potato starch per day. Better Made has found success selling the starch to a Michigan distiller, MichiGrain, that produces potato vodka, as well as frozen fry companies that make crispy fries or curly fries, which use starch in coating their products.

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