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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Edible Coatings for Whole and Minimally Processed Fruits and Vegetables

Authors
item Nisperos, Myrna - AUSTRALIAN FOOD INDUSTRY
item Baldwin, Elizabeth

Submitted to: Food Australia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This review covers the effect of edible coatings of fruits and vegetables. The ability of coatings to act as a partial barrier to air and humidity result in prolonging the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, coatings can be used as carriers of natural microbes that help these commodities resist spoilage organisms. As part of a quarantine treatment for fruit flies, coatings can aid in suffocation of fly larvae inside the fruit. Coatings are beneficial for both intact fruits and fruits that undergo light processing such as peeling, cutting, shredding, etc.

Technical Abstract: This review covers the effect of various types of edible coatings and their permeability properties. Various coating film-formers, plasticizers and emulsifiers are mentioned and their function within a coating system discussed. Effects of coatings on fresh or lightly processed fruits and vegetables is explained in terms of the creation of a modified atmosphere and retardation of water loss, ripening, respiration and undesirable color or texture changes. Coatings can also be used as carriers of biological control agents that compete with pathogens, thus reducing decay of fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, the use of coatings as part of a quarantine program has been demonstrated by the creation of a modified atmosphere toxic to insect pests.

Last Modified: 12/29/2014