New Edible Packaging Material with Function in Shelf Life Extension: Applications for the Meat and Cheese Industries

Date of publication 3 August 2020

Authors Gheorghita, Roxana; Amariei, Sonia; Norocel, Liliana; Gutt, Gheorghe.

Sources Foods : 9 (DocId: 5)



Nowadays, biopolymer films have gained notoriety among the packaging materials. Some studies clearly test their effectiveness for certain periods of time, with applicability in the food industry. This research has been carried out in two directions. Firstly, the development and testing of the new edible material: general appearance, thickness, retraction ratio, color, transmittance, microstructure, roughness, and porosity, as well as mechanical and solubility tests. Secondly, testing of the packaged products-slices of cheese and prosciutto-in the new material and their maintenance at refrigeration conditions for 5 months; thus, the peroxide index, color, and water activity index were evaluated for the packaged products. The results emphasize that the packaging is a lipophilic one and does not allow wetting or any changes in the food moisture. The results indicate the stability of the parameters within three months and present the changes occurring within the fourth and fifth months. Microbiological tests indicated an initial microbial growth, both for cheese slices and ham slices. Time testing indicated a small increase in the total count number over the 5-month period: 23 cfu/g were found of fresh slices of prosciutto and 27 cfu/g in the case of the packaged ones; for slices of cheese, the total count of microorganisms indicated 7 cfu/g in the initial stage and 11 cfu/g after 5 months. The results indicate that the film did not facilitate the growth of the existing microorganisms, and highlight the need to purchase food from safe places, especially in the case of raw-dried products that have not undergone heat treatment, which may endanger the health of the consumer. The new material tested represents a promising substitute for commercial and unsustainable plastic packaging.

TSC Opinion

La fabrication d’emballages comestibles fait l’objet de plus en plus d’études. C’est un peu comme un serpent de mer que l’on voit réapparaître de régulièrement à la surface avec toutes ses opportunités mais aussi toutes ses limitations. Cet article présente revue des approches techniques pour fabriquer des emballages comestibles à base de polymères extraits d’algues. Ceci pose évidemment le problème de la protection de l’emballage lui-même avant sa consommation, en effet, comment éviter les contaminations éventuelles pendant la manipulation et le transport ? Peut-être faut-il rajouter un autre emballage lui aussi comestible par-dessus l’emballage comestible… Avec ce genre de système l’industrie des emballages risque de voir ses profits augmenter. D’autre part, les polymères envisagés sont extraits d’algues, il s’agit de l’alginate ou d’agar. Le coût de ces matières sont bien au-delà des modèles économiques utilisés pour l’emballage alimentaire. Il est assez curieux que des financeurs supportent encore ce genre d’étude qui aboutit toujours aux mêmes conclusions : techniquement faisable mais pratiquement et économiquement non réalisable.

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