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Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Recent advances on edible films based on fruit and vegetables - a review

item OTONI, CAIO - Federal University - Brazil
item Avena-Bustillos, Roberto
item LOREVICE, MARCOS - Embrapa National Research Center
item DE MOURA, MARCIA - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item McHugh, Tara
item MATTOSO, LUIZ - Embrapa National Research Center

Submitted to: Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/25/2017
Publication Date: 9/5/2017
Citation: Otoni, C.G., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Azeredo, H.M., Lorevice, M.V., De Moura, M.R., McHugh, T.H., Mattoso, L. 2017. Recent advances on edible films based on fruit and vegetables - a review. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 16(5):1151-1169.

Interpretive Summary: Food packaging materials are traditionally expected to contain foodstuffs and protect them from deteriorating agents. Although petroleum-derived polymers have been widely used for this purpose, the rising concern with their non-renewable and/or non-biodegradable nature paves the route for the development of greener alternatives, including polysaccharides and polypeptides. The use of these food-grade bio-macromolecules, in addition to fruits and vegetables, provides edible packaging with suitable physical-mechanical properties as well as unique sensory and nutritional characteristics. The chronological development pathway of films based on fruit and vegetable purees, pomaces, and extracts was reviewed. Recent advances were extensively reviewed with an emphasis on the role that each film component plays in the resulting materials, whose production methods are examined from a technical standpoint and essential properties are compiled and contrasted to their conventional, synthetic counterparts. Finally, this comprehensive review discussed advantages and limitations of edible films based on fruits and vegetables.

Technical Abstract: A food packaging system has different functions, including those related to containment, information, and marketing. However, its primary function is to separate food from the surrounding environment, reducing food exposure to deteriorating factors such as microorganisms, oxygen, water vapor, off-flavors etc, and also avoiding losses of desirable compounds such as flavor volatiles, thus retaining the benefits of processing, and extending food shelf life. In the last decades, there has been a worldwide demand for replacing conventional petroleum-based plastics with renewable and biodegradable polymers, due to concerns for the increasing difficulty in managing solid wastes, and also to an increasing perception of the need to minimize petroleum dependence. Edible films may be used in food packaging and can be used to extend food stability by reducing exchange of moisture, oxygen, carbon dioxide, lipid, aromas, and volatiles between the food and the surrounding environment, as well as by wrapping food items and preventing surface contamination. Therefore, they help to improve the efficiency of food packaging, reducing the amount of petroleum-derived polymers required for each application, which is one of the trends in food packaging in the last decades. Moreover, edible films can limit moisture, aroma and lipid migration between food components, where conventional packaging is unable to function This text reviews the chronological development pathway of films based on fruit and vegetable purees, pomaces, and extracts, from the very pioneer study done at WRRC up to the products currently available commercially. Recent advances on composite and active fruit and vegetable edible films are extensively reviewed, in addition to the role that each film component plays, as well as the production protocols. Finally, advantages and limitations of these promising materials are weighed and the upcoming scenario is discussed.