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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385001

Research Project: Determination of Flavor and Healthful Benefits of Florida-Grown Fruits and Vegetables and Development of Postharvest Treatments to Optimize Shelf Life an Quality for Their Fresh and Processed Products

Location: Citrus and Other Subtropical Products Research

Title: Nanoemulsions as edible coatings: A potential strategy for fresh fruits and vegetables preservation

item OLIVEIRA FILHO, JOSEMAR - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item MIRANDA, MARCELA - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item FERREIRA, MARCOS - Embrapa
item Plotto, Anne

Submitted to: Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2021
Publication Date: 10/14/2021
Citation: Oliveira Filho, J., Miranda, M., Ferreira, M.D., Plotto, A. 2021. Nanoemulsions as edible coatings: A potential strategy for fresh fruits and vegetables preservation. Foods. 10:2438.

Interpretive Summary: Coatings are commercially used to extend postharvest quality of fruits and vegetables. They are typically macroemulsions of hydrophobic components (fat, waxes or resins) in a hydrophililc matrix and their main function is to minimize water loss, reduce gas exchange and thereby maintaining fruit quality in storage. The recent development of nanotechnology has increased the potential for fruit coatings. Nanoemulsions are more efficient at reducing water loss, gas exchange, minimizing oxidative reactions and suppressing pathogen growth. They are also promising vehicles for bioactive compounds, which may further contribute to maintain the quality attributes of food products. This manuscript reviews the current knowledge and applications of nanocoatings in postharvest applications.

Technical Abstract: Fresh fruits and vegetables are perishable commodities requiring technologies to extend their postharvest shelf life. Edible coatings have been used as a strategy to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to cold storage and/or controlled atmosphere. In recent years, nanotechnology has emerged as a new strategy for improving coating properties. Coatings based on nanoemulsions, in general, have better water barrier, mechanical, optical and microstructural properties in comparison with coatings based on conventional emulsions. When antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds are incorporated into the coatings, nanocoatings enable the gradual and controlled release of those compounds over the storage period of food better than conventional emulsions, hence increasing their bioactivity, extending shelf life and nutritional produce quality. This review's main goal is to update the available information on the use of nanoemulsions as coatings for preserving fresh fruits and vegetables, pointing to a prospective view and future applications.