CSIRO pioneer leaves intelligent packaging legacy

Food Magazine has been informed that former CSIRO scientist Eric George Davis passed away recently aged 85.

Mr Davis had a long and successful research career with CSIRO initially as a Senior Research Scientist for CSIRO Division of Food Preservation.

Mr Davis’ initial research at CSIRO’s division of Food Preservation was to examine the various means by which highly corrosive foods such as beetroot could successfully be stored in a can.

He examined the various lacquers that could be used to protect the cans. The present day cans of beetroot on our supermarket shelves are a testimony to the early research of Mr Davis.

Not satisfied with solving the major canning problems facing the Australian food industry, he later went on to help the Australian wine industry.

The success of the plastic ‘wine cask’ or the ‘bag-in-box’ wines was a direct result of Mr Davis’ research.

The market for these wines was severely limited by rapid oxidation.

Through his careful and meticulous research, it was found that oxidation was mostly from oxygen migrating through the dispensing tap on the casks. Mr Davis’ research sparked many innovative designs to overcome the problem.

Another problem facing the wine industry was the loss of sulphur dioxide through the plastic packaging material. Mr Davis’ studies on the equilibration of the various forms of sulphur dioxide in foods and wines was very useful to understanding its role in a wide range of preserved foods.

Mr Davis was known for placing great merit on the accuracy and precision of measurements.

His profound understanding of the physical chemistry of gases and their interaction with polymeric materials enabled much of the further research in food packaging which has lead to the modern concepts of active and intelligent packaging.

Send this to a friend