Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research
Title: Increasing strawberry shelf-life with carvacrol and methyl cinnamate antimicrobial vapors released from edible films (abstract) Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Shelf life of strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) is limited by decay caused by microbial growth that negatively impacts their color, texture and weight. Plant natural volatile compounds, such as terpenoids and esters, have been reported to be effective against microbial pathogen growth. The advantages of using such components as a way to extend shelf life of fruits are due to their high bioactivity in the vapor phase, as well as their human-safe and environmentally friendly characteristics. Furthermore, considering the consumer demand for agricultural products without chemical residues, they are potential alternatives to commercial preservatives for extending shelf life of fruits and vegetables. The effect of carvacrol and methyl cinnamate released as vapors from strawberry puree edible films (SPEF) on strawberry shelf life and quality-related attributes were investigated. Carvacrol, main volatile compound of oregano, and methyl cinnamate, methyl ester of cinnamic acid, formulated in film-forming solutions at 0.75% (w/w) concentrations were chosen because of their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Additionally, methyl cinnamate has a desirable natural strong fruity and strawberry-like aroma. Results obtained from 14 days of storage at 10°C showed that mold growth in vapor-treated strawberries was delayed for up to three days and the severity of decay was also significantly (p = 0.05) reduced during the storage period. In addition, we found that strawberry exposed to carvacrol and methyl cinnamate released from SPEF maintained more flesh firmness and were brighter than untreated fruits. The total soluble phenolic content and antioxidant activity of strawberries exposed to carvacrol and methyl cinnamate enriched vapor environment were higher than the untreated fruits at the end of the storage period. The findings of the current study demonstrate that fruit-based edible films constitute a promising approach for incorporating natural active compounds to improve shelf life and quality of strawberries and other perishable fruits during storage.