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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327816

Research Project: Improving the Sustainability and Quality of Food and Dairy Products from Manufacturing to Consumption via Process Modeling and Edible Packaging

Location: Dairy and Functional Foods Research

Title: Advances in food packaging films from milk proteins

item Bonnaillie, Laetitia
item Aburto, Lucy
item Tunick, Michael
item Mulherin, John
item DU, MONICA - University Of Delaware
item Kwoczak, Raymond
item AKKURT, SERIFE - Rutgers University
item Tomasula, Peggy

Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Most commercial petroleum-based food packaging films are poor oxygen barriers, do not biodegrade, and some are suspected to even leach compounds into the food product. For instance, three-perfluorinated coatings were banned from convenience food packaging earlier this year. These shortcomings are a problem particularly with high-fat foods, which may solvate leached compounds faster and tend to oxidize. Packaging films made from milk proteins are excellent oxygen barriers, up to 500 times better than LDPE, and completely food-safe. In addition, they are hydrophilic and repel grease, can be eaten with the food product, and dissolve easily in hot or cold water. For these reasons, milk-based films are ideal candidates to coat convenience food packaging; layer between synthetic films to block oxygen; coat foods to preserve them and carry additional nutrients; or, form increasingly-popular single-serve pouches, which can be either eaten or dissolved, generating zero waste. This presentation reports ARS' recent advances in strengthening casein-based, edible packaging films, to physically protect food products, as well as mediate their hydrophilicity to customize their resistance to environmental conditions and/or rate of dissolution and enable a broad range of applications, from cheese-stick wrappers to healthy cereal glaze. The rheological, mechanical, thermal, structural, barrier and functional properties of solvent-cast casein-based films and coatings are characterized using state-of-the art, environmentally-controlled instrumentation such as DMA-RH, vapor-sorption analysis (VSA), oxygen permeability analysis, water vapor transmission, microscopy, and more. Due to the complex, charged, 3-D structure of protein monomers, casein films are sensitive to many formulation and processing parameters, including the caseinate type (calcium or sodium) and concentration, polysaccharide cross-linkers, alkalinity of the suspension, film-casting parameters, and the environmental conditions during drying, storage and testing conditions are critical to the mechanical properties and shelf-life of these hygroscopic, versatile edible polymers.