Edible films based on the addition of Aloe Vera gel (AV) into fish gelatin (FG) with antimicrobial and functional properties for food packaging applications were proposed in this work. AV showed an amphiphilic nature by infrared spectroscopy, high total phenolics content (TPC), antioxidant activity and thermal stability with an initial degradation temperature of 174 ± 2 °C. Mannose and glucose were quantified as main monosaccharides whereas the linkage composition study confirmed the presence of acemannan as main active polysaccharide. Three different formulations were obtained by the casting technique and the addition of AV contents of 0, 1 and 4 wt.% to FG, showing films with 4 wt.% of AV the best performance. The addition of AV did not significantly affect mechanical and barrier properties to oxygen and water vapour. However, some structural changes were observed by infrared spectroscopy and the obtained glass transition temperature values due to intermolecular interactions that increased the hydrophilicity and solubility of the resulting FG/AV films. A higher thermal stability was observed in films with AV content increasing the initial degradation and oxidation onset temperatures. An antimicrobial activity against S. aureus
was also observed for FG/AV films. The addition of AV into FG could be proposed as a potential effective material to increase the postharvest quality of packed fruits and vegetables by retarding the microbial growth and extending the shelf-life of these food products.
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