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Packaging Food Items with Edible Coating Against Microbes: A Review

SpecialChem / Oct 11, 2010

The growing demand by consumers for healthier and more ecological foods has driven researchers to develop new systems of packaging that prolong the useful life of the products and at the same time, recyclable. An alternative in the last few years is the edible coating – a transparent film that covers the food item and acts as a barrier to humidity and oxygen. Edible coatings can provide an additional protective coating for fresh products and can also give the same effect as modified atmosphere storage. Edible films and coatings can incorporate food additives, such as anti-browning agents, antimicrobials, flavors, colorants, and other functional substances. Approximately 40% of the food products world-wide end up being discarded because of spoilage. To develop cost-effective ways to achieve longer shelf-life is one of the biggest challenges in package industry. Antimicrobial edible coatings inhibit spoilage and pathogenic bacteria by controlled release: maintaining effective concentrations of active compounds on food surfaces.

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