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Cellophane facts for kids

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Cellophane is a bioplastic wrapping material. It is a thin, transparent sheet made of cellulose. It has low permeability. That means very little air, oils, greases, bacteria, and water can get in. That makes it useful for food packaging.

Cellophane was invented by Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger.

It took ten years for Brandenberger to perfect his idea. He added glycerin to soften the material. By 1912 he had built a machine to make the film. He called the product "Cellophane", from the words cellulose and diaphane ("transparent"). Cellophane was patented that year.

Xanthogenate Cellulose Structural Formula V1
Cellulose is treated with alkali and carbon disulfide to yield viscose

DuPont built the first cellophane manufacturing plant in the US. One of their chemists found a way to make it moisture proof. The material became hugely popular.

"Cellophane" is a general term in some countries, but in other countries it is a registered trademark.

Cellophane played a crucial role in developing the self-service retailing of fresh meat. The transparency helped customers see the quality of meat before buying. Cellophane also largely prevents discoloration of food.

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