Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: We show that polyvinyl acetate (PVA) has good potential as an edible coating. PVA coatings had high gloss, even after immersion of coated surfaces in water. PVA coatings had relatively high oxygen and water vapor permeance. They performed well as coatings on apples and citrus fruit, and they imparted an attractive appearance to chocolates. The coating formulations consisted of solutions of PVA in alcohol-water mixtures, with additives. PVA is already used in pharmaceutical coatings and it has regulatory approval as an ingredient in chewing gum. However, before it could be used in edible coatings, additional regulatory approval would be needed. The primary advantages of using PVA as an edible coating are its unique combination of properties and its low cost. A disadvantage, other than the need for regulatory approval, is that considerable amounts of alcohol were used in the formulations.
Technical Abstract: Food-grade polyvinyl acetate (PVA) dissolved in alcohol-water mixtures, with and without propylene glycol or other food-approved additives, was tested as an edible coating. The coatings had high gloss and relatively high permeance to O2 and water vapor when tested on paper and plastic substrates. Ethanolic solutions of PVA formed a glossy coating on chocolate candy, fresh apples and fresh citrus fruit. The ethanol content of fresh fruit with PVA coatings increased more slowly than that of fruit with high-gloss coatings normally used in packinghouses. Fruit coated with PVA coatings did not whiten or 'blush' after contact with water. Coatings made with PVA solutions in isopropanol had higher gloss than those in ethanol.