Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2005
Publication Date: June 1, 2005
Citation: Baldwin, E.A. 2005. Edible coatings. In: Ben-Yehoshua, S., editor. Environmentally Friendly Technologies for Agricultural Produce Quality. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Taylor & Francis Group. p. 301-314. Interpretive Summary: Edible coatings and waxes for fresh or fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are an environmentally friendly technology that preserves freshness and quality while extending the marketing life of fresh produce. Coatings and reduce the need for packaging in some cases, are mostly made from natural and renewable resources, and are relatively inexpensive. This chapter discusses the various coatings available, the advantages and disadvantages of various coating materials and the types of produce that currently are marketed with a coating or wax.
Technical Abstract: Edible coatings for fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables have been used on apples and oranges for decades, and new materials are available for testing today. Lipids and resins, such as shellac, have been used successfully on apple, citrus and cucumbers among other types of produce. Proteins and polysaccharides have also been used. Different materials have different advantages. For example, such as lipids are good barriers to moisture loss, while proteins and polysaccharides provide gentle modification of fruit internal atmosphere, due to their intermediate gas permeability properties. Coating can provide protection to fresh produce and sometimes reduce the need for plastic packaging. Most coatings and films are made from renewable, natural resources.