Antimicrobial Edible Films and Coatings for Fruits and Vegetables

Antimicrobial Edible Films and Coatings for Fruits and Vegetables

Amrita Poonia (Banaras Hindu University, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0591-4.ch014
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Abstract

Non-degradable packaging materials are doing much damage to the environment. So the interest has been developed in biodegradable films and coatings these days. Use of edible films and coatings is eco-friendly technology used for enhancing the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables. The use of antimicrobial compounds in edible coatings of proteins, starch, cellulose derivatives, chitosan, alginate, fruit puree, and egg albumin has been successfully added to the edible films and coatings. This chapter focuses on the development of edible films and coatings with antimicrobial activity, effect of these coatings on the target microorganisms, the influence of these antimicrobial agents on mechanical & barrier properties and application of antimicrobial edible coatings on the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables.
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Background

Edible films and coatings like wax have been used for long time to prevent moisture loss and to stop the respiration process. These practices are still carried out in the present time. The association of edible fruits and vegetables are 50 years old. In 1967, edible films had very little use and were limited to wax layers only. A good business came out from this concept and by 1996, numbers grew to 600 companies. In twelfth century citrus fruits were preserved by placing them in box and pouring molten wax on them to preserve them for Emperor’s table. Later in fifteenth century edible films made up of boiled soy milk were used in Japan for maintaining the food quality and appearance. In the nineteenth century, a US patent was used for preservation of various meat products by gelatin. But these days, many other methods and combination of these methods are used to keep the food safe. Use of edible films and coatings continues as one of the most cost effective method of food preservation.

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