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Open AccessArticle

New Edible Packaging Material with Function in Shelf Life Extension: Applications for the Meat and Cheese Industries

1
Department of Human and Health Development, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania
2
Faculty of Food Engineering, Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, 720229 Suceava, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(5), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050562
Received: 14 March 2020 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 2 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Food Preservation Methods and Their Applications)
Nowadays, biopolymer films have gained notoriety among the packaging materials. Some studies clearly test their effectiveness for certain periods of time, with applicability in the food industry. This research has been carried out in two directions. Firstly, the development and testing of the new edible material: general appearance, thickness, retraction ratio, color, transmittance, microstructure, roughness, and porosity, as well as mechanical and solubility tests. Secondly, testing of the packaged products—slices of cheese and prosciutto—in the new material and their maintenance at refrigeration conditions for 5 months; thus, the peroxide index, color, and water activity index were evaluated for the packaged products. The results emphasize that the packaging is a lipophilic one and does not allow wetting or any changes in the food moisture. The results indicate the stability of the parameters within three months and present the changes occurring within the fourth and fifth months. Microbiological tests indicated an initial microbial growth, both for cheese slices and ham slices. Time testing indicated a small increase in the total count number over the 5-month period: 23 cfu/g were found of fresh slices of prosciutto and 27 cfu/g in the case of the packaged ones; for slices of cheese, the total count of microorganisms indicated 7 cfu/g in the initial stage and 11 cfu/g after 5 months. The results indicate that the film did not facilitate the growth of the existing microorganisms, and highlight the need to purchase food from safe places, especially in the case of raw-dried products that have not undergone heat treatment, which may endanger the health of the consumer. The new material tested represents a promising substitute for commercial and unsustainable plastic packaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-based polymers; food; preservation; time testing; zero-waste bio-based polymers; food; preservation; time testing; zero-waste
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Gheorghita (Puscaselu), R.; Amariei, S.; Norocel, L.; Gutt, G. New Edible Packaging Material with Function in Shelf Life Extension: Applications for the Meat and Cheese Industries. Foods 2020, 9, 562.

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