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Special Issue "Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Porta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: Industrial enzymology; food biotechnology; hydrocolloid films for food coating or wrapping
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. C. Valeria L. Giosafatto
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: biodegradable materials; bioplastics; digestion
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent advances in food chemistry, technology, and biotechnology have introduced new methodologies to keep food safe and flavorful for longer periods of time. Among these, the use of invisible, tasteless and odorless coatings is increasingly attracting the attention of a wide variety of subjects. Coating consists of a thin layer of edible film, applied to the surface of a food product to preserve its freshness. Numerous common hydrocolloid coating materials—including different carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, or their composite mixtures—have been described in the last twenty years. Many of them are able to modulate water vapor, O2 and CO2 permeability, possess acceptable mechanical properties and further features useful to maintain food flavor, texture and nutritional value and, some of them, provide also effective protection against bacteria. Moreover, edible coatings serve also as possible carriers for a wide range of food additives, including anti-browning agents, colorants, flavors, nutrients, spices that not only extend the shelf-life of the products, but also may improve their safety and acceptability. Finally, another interesting aspect in the edible film utilization is the possibility to recycle industrial carbohydrate and protein by-products, with the concurrent goal to manage lower waste amounts and reduce environmental pollution.

We invite investigators to contribute original research articles, as well as review articles that will stimulate the continuing efforts to produce edible films able to coat and preserve specific food products. We are particularly interested in articles describing new modalities to obtain new biomaterials from renewable biomass sources; preparation of new edible coatings endowed with properties tailored for specific foods; development of new coating processes and strategies to improve food packaging and shelf-life; new insights and challenges in food coating research, application and commercialization. Potential topics include, but not limited to:

1) Developments in polysaccharide-, protein- and lipid-based edible coatings

2) Recent advances in structure and characterization of new

a) polysaccharide-based edible films
b) protein-based edible films
c) lipid-based edible films
d) composite edible films

3) Latest technologies for recycling industrial biopolymer by-products into food coatings

4) Development of specific edible coatings (e.g., containing active ingredients (flavors, colorants, antioxidants, antimicrobials, etc.)) for fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products, as well as baked and fried foods.

Prof. Dr. Raffaele Porta
Dr. C. Valeria L. Giosafatto
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • edible films
  • food coatings
  • biodegradable materials
  • biopolymers

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Presence and Concentration of Plasticizers, Vegetable Oils, and Surfactants on the Properties of Sodium-Alginate-Based Edible Coatings
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030742 - 06 Mar 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Achieving high quality of a coated food product is mostly dependent on the characteristics of the food material to be coated, the properties of the components in the coating solution, and the obtained coating material. In the present study, usability and effectiveness of [...] Read more.
Achieving high quality of a coated food product is mostly dependent on the characteristics of the food material to be coated, the properties of the components in the coating solution, and the obtained coating material. In the present study, usability and effectiveness of various components as well as their concentrations were assessed to produce an effective coating material. For this purpose, different concentrations of gelling agent (sodium alginate 0–3.5%, w/w), plasticizers (glycerol and sorbitol (0–20%, w/w), surfactants (tween 40, tween 80, span 60, span 80, lecithin (0–5%, w/w), and vegetable oils (sunflower oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil (0–5%, w/w) were used to prepare edible coating solutions. Formulations were built gradually, and characteristics of coatings were evaluated by analyzing surface tension values and its polar and dispersive components, emulsion droplet size, and optical appearance in microscopic scale. The results obtained showed that 1.25% sodium alginate, 2% glycerol, 0.2% sunflower oil, 1% span 80, and 0.2% tween 40 or tween 80 can be used in formulation to obtain an effective coating for hydrophobic food surfaces. Three formulations were designed, and their stability (emulsion droplet size, optical characteristics, and creaming index) and wettability tests on strawberry showed that they could be successfully used in coating applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioactive Films Containing Alginate-Pectin Composite Microbeads with Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis: Physicochemical Characterization and Antilisterial Activity
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020574 - 14 Feb 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Novel bioactive films were developed from the incorporation of Lactococcus lactis into polysaccharide films. Two different biopolymers were tested: cellulose derivative (hydroxylpropylmethylcellulose (HPMC)) and corn starch. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) free or previously encapsulated in alginate-pectin composite hydrogel microbeads were added directly to [...] Read more.
Novel bioactive films were developed from the incorporation of Lactococcus lactis into polysaccharide films. Two different biopolymers were tested: cellulose derivative (hydroxylpropylmethylcellulose (HPMC)) and corn starch. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) free or previously encapsulated in alginate-pectin composite hydrogel microbeads were added directly to the film forming solution and films were obtained by casting. In order to study the impact of the incorporation of the protective culture into the biopolymer matrix, the water vapour permeability, oxygen permeability, optical and mechanical properties of the dry films were evaluated. Furthermore, the antimicrobial effect of bioactive films against Listeria monocytogenes was studied in synthetic medium. Results showed that the addition of LAB or alginate-pectin microbeads modified slightly films optical properties. In comparison with HPMC films, starch matrix proves to be more sensitive to the addition of bacterial cells or beads. Indeed, mechanical resistance of corn starch films was lower but barrier properties were improved, certainly related to the possible establishment of interactions between alginate-pectin beads and starch. HPMC and starch films containing encapsulated bioactive culture showed a complete inhibition of listerial growth during the first five days of storage at 5 °C and a reduction of 5 logs after 12 days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Burdock Root Inulin/Chitosan Blend Films Containing Oregano and Thyme Essential Oils
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010131 - 03 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
In this study, inulin (INU) extracted from burdock root was utilized as a new film base material and combined with chitosan (CHI) to prepare composite films. Oregano and thyme essential oils (OT) were incorporated into the INU-CHI film to confer the films with [...] Read more.
In this study, inulin (INU) extracted from burdock root was utilized as a new film base material and combined with chitosan (CHI) to prepare composite films. Oregano and thyme essential oils (OT) were incorporated into the INU-CHI film to confer the films with bioactivities. The physical and optical properties as well as antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the films were evaluated. INU film alone showed poor physical properties. In contrast, the compatibility of INU and CHI demonstrated by the changes in attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transformation infrared spectrum of the INU-CHI film increased tensile strength and elongation at break of the INU film by 8.2- and 3.9-fold, respectively. In addition, water vapor permeability, water solubility, and moisture content of the films decreased proportionally with increasing OT concentration in the INU-CHI film. Incorporation of OT also increased the opacity of a and b values and decreased the L value of the INU-CHI films. All INU-CHI films containing OT exhibited antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Particularly, the INU-CHI film with 2.0% OT exhibited the highest 2,2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging, and antimicrobial activities against four pathogens. Thus, the INU-CHI film containing OT developed in this study might be utilized as an active packaging material in the food industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Physicochemical and Antimicrobial Characterization of Beeswax–Starch Food-Grade Nanoemulsions Incorporating Natural Antimicrobials
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2712; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122712 - 15 Dec 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Nanoemulsions are feasible delivery systems of lipophilic compounds, showing potential as edible coatings with enhanced functional properties. The aim of this work was to study the effect of emulsifier type (stearic acid (SA), Tween 80 (T80) or Tween 80/Span 60 (T80/S60)) and emulsification [...] Read more.
Nanoemulsions are feasible delivery systems of lipophilic compounds, showing potential as edible coatings with enhanced functional properties. The aim of this work was to study the effect of emulsifier type (stearic acid (SA), Tween 80 (T80) or Tween 80/Span 60 (T80/S60)) and emulsification process (homogenization, ultrasound or microfluidization) on nanoemulsion formation based on oxidized corn starch, beeswax (BW) and natural antimicrobials (lauric arginate and natamycin). The response variables were physicochemical properties, rheological behavior, wettability and antimicrobial activity of BW–starch nanoemulsions (BW–SN). The BW–SN emulsified using T80 and microfluidized showed the lowest droplet size (77.6 ± 6.2 nm), a polydispersion index of 0.4 ± 0.0 and whiteness index (WI) of 31.8 ± 0.8. This BW–SN exhibited a more negative ζ-potential: −36 ± 4 mV, and Newtonian flow behavior, indicating great stability. BW–SN antimicrobial activity was not affected by microfluidization nor the presence of T80, showing inhibition of the deteriorative fungi R. stolonifer, C. gloeosporioides and B. cinerea, and the pathogenic bacterium S. Saintpaul. In addition, regardless of emulsifier type and emulsification process, BW–SN applied on the tomato surface exhibited low contact angles (38.5° to 48.6°), resulting in efficient wettability (−7.0 mN/m to −8.9 mN/m). These nanoemulsions may be useful to produce edible coatings to preserve fresh-produce quality and safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Guar Gum with Sorbitol Coating on the Properties and Oil Absorption of French Fries
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2700; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122700 - 13 Dec 2017
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper investigated the effects of guar gum with sorbitol coating on the oil absorption of French fries by combined dye oil methods, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that pretreatment of blanching with calcium ions [...] Read more.
This paper investigated the effects of guar gum with sorbitol coating on the oil absorption of French fries by combined dye oil methods, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results showed that pretreatment of blanching with calcium ions and coating with guar gum and sorbitol could significantly reduce the structural oil (STO) and penetrated surface oil (PSO) of French fries and have no negative effects on its texture and also effectively control the final moisture content (p < 0.05). Compared with control or samples coated with guar gum (blanching with or without calcium ions), the total oil (TO) of French fries with guar gum and sorbitol reduced by 50.8%, 33.1% and 30.6%, respectively. CLSM photographs confirmed that STO significantly reduced after coating with guar gum and sorbitol, followed by PSO. In the process of frying, the coatings of guar gum or guar gum with sorbitol could effectively prevent oil from infiltrating the potato tissue, which can be seen in the SEM photographs. The barrier properties of French fries were enhanced by coating guar gum, and sorbitol was added to avoid pores and cracks. Blanching with calcium ion can significantly reduce the final moisture content of coating French fries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Tuning the Functional Properties of Bitter Vetch (Vicia ervilia) Protein Films Grafted with Spermidine
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122658 - 08 Dec 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Bitter vetch protein films containing positively charged spermidine, alone or with low amounts of glycerol, showed high tensile strength that progressively decreased by increasing the plasticizer concentration. Accordingly, lower film elongation at break and higher Young’s module values were detected in the presence [...] Read more.
Bitter vetch protein films containing positively charged spermidine, alone or with low amounts of glycerol, showed high tensile strength that progressively decreased by increasing the plasticizer concentration. Accordingly, lower film elongation at break and higher Young’s module values were detected in the presence of the polyamine without or with small amounts of glycerol. These data suggest that spermidine not only acts as a plasticizer itself by ionically interacting with proteins, but that it also facilitates glycerol-dependent reduction of the intermolecular forces along the protein chains, consequently improving the film flexibility and extensibility. Thus, spermidine may be considered not only as a primary, but also as a secondary plasticizer because of its ability to enhance glycerol plasticizing performance. Such double behavior of the polyamine was confirmed by the film permeability tests, since spermidine increased the barrier properties to gases and water vapor, while glycerol emphasized this effect at low concentrations but led to its marked reversal at high concentrations. Film microscopic images also substantiated these findings, showing more compact, cohesive, and homogeneous matrices in all spermidine-containing films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Physical, Structural, Barrier, and Antifungal Characterization of Chitosan–Zein Edible Films with Added Essential Oils
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2370; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112370 - 08 Nov 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
Edible films (EFs) have gained great interest due to their ability to keep foods safe, maintaining their physical and organoleptic properties for a longer time. The aim of this work was to develop EFs based on a chitosan–zein mixture with three different essential [...] Read more.
Edible films (EFs) have gained great interest due to their ability to keep foods safe, maintaining their physical and organoleptic properties for a longer time. The aim of this work was to develop EFs based on a chitosan–zein mixture with three different essential oils (EOs) added: anise, orange, and cinnamon, and to characterize them to establish the relationship between their structural and physical properties. The addition of an EO into an EF significantly affected (p < 0.05) the a* (redness/greenness) and b* (yellowness/blueness) values of the film surface. The EFs presented a refractive index between 1.35 and 1.55, and thus are classified as transparent. The physical properties of EFs with an added EO were improved, and films that incorporated the anise EO showed significantly lower water vapor permeability (1.2 ± 0.1 g mm h−1 m−2 kPa−1) and high hardness (104.3 ± 3.22 MPa). EFs with an added EO were able to inhibit the growth of Penicillium sp. and Rhizopus sp. to a larger extent than without an EO. Films’ structural changes were the result of chemical interactions among amino acid side chains from zein, glucosamine from chitosan, and cinnamaldehyde, anethole, or limonene from the EOs as detected by a Raman analysis. The incorporation of an EO in the EFs’ formulation could represent an alternative use as coatings to enhance the shelf life of food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Linked Amylose Bio-Plastic: A Transgenic-Based Compostable Plastic Alternative
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2075; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102075 - 30 Sep 2017
Cited by 7
Abstract
Bio-plastics and bio-materials are composed of natural or biomass derived polymers, offering solutions to solve immediate environmental issues. Polysaccharide-based bio-plastics represent important alternatives to conventional plastic because of their intrinsic biodegradable nature. Amylose-only (AO), an engineered barley starch with 99% amylose, was tested [...] Read more.
Bio-plastics and bio-materials are composed of natural or biomass derived polymers, offering solutions to solve immediate environmental issues. Polysaccharide-based bio-plastics represent important alternatives to conventional plastic because of their intrinsic biodegradable nature. Amylose-only (AO), an engineered barley starch with 99% amylose, was tested to produce cross-linked all-natural bioplastic using normal barley starch as a control. Glycerol was used as plasticizer and citrate cross-linking was used to improve the mechanical properties of cross-linked AO starch extrudates. Extrusion converted the control starch from A-type to Vh- and B-type crystals, showing a complete melting of the starch crystals in the raw starch granules. The cross-linked AO and control starch specimens displayed an additional wide-angle diffraction reflection. Phospholipids complexed with Vh-type single helices constituted an integrated part of the AO starch specimens. Gas permeability tests of selected starch-based prototypes demonstrated properties comparable to that of commercial Mater-Bi© plastic. The cross-linked AO prototypes had composting characteristics not different from the control, indicating that the modified starch behaves the same as normal starch. The data shows the feasibility of producing all-natural bioplastic using designer starch as raw material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Nanosystems in Edible Coatings: A Novel Strategy for Food Preservation
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030705 - 01 Mar 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Currently, nanotechnology represents an important tool and an efficient option for extending the shelf life of foods. Reducing particle size to nanometric scale gives materials distinct and improved properties compared to larger systems. For food applications, this technology allows the incorporation of hydrophilic [...] Read more.
Currently, nanotechnology represents an important tool and an efficient option for extending the shelf life of foods. Reducing particle size to nanometric scale gives materials distinct and improved properties compared to larger systems. For food applications, this technology allows the incorporation of hydrophilic and lipophilic substances with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that can be released during storage periods to increase the shelf life of diverse products, including whole and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and cheese, among others. Edible coatings are usually prepared with natural polymers that are non-toxic, economical, and readily available. Nanosystems, in contrast, may also be prepared with biodegradable synthetic polymers, and liquid and solid lipids at room temperature. In this review, recent developments in the use of such nanosystems as nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanocomposites, and nanoemulsions, are discussed critically. The use of polymers as the support matrix for nanodispersions to form edible coatings for food preservation is also analyzed, but the central purpose of the article is to describe available information on nanosystems and their use in different food substrates to help formulators in their work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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Open AccessReview
Probiotic Incorporation in Edible Films and Coatings: Bioactive Solution for Functional Foods
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010150 - 04 Jan 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Nowadays, the consumption of food products containing probiotics, has increased worldwide due to concerns regarding healthy diet and wellbeing. This trend has received a lot of attention from the food industries, aiming to produce novel probiotic foods, and from researchers, to improve the [...] Read more.
Nowadays, the consumption of food products containing probiotics, has increased worldwide due to concerns regarding healthy diet and wellbeing. This trend has received a lot of attention from the food industries, aiming to produce novel probiotic foods, and from researchers, to improve the existing methodologies for probiotic delivery or to develop and investigate new possible applications. In this sense, edible films and coatings are being studied as probiotic carriers with many applications. There is a wide variety of materials with film-forming ability, possessing different characteristics and subsequently affecting the final product. This manuscript aims to provide significant information regarding probiotics and active/bioactive packaging, to review applications of probiotic edible films and coatings, and to discuss certain limitations of their use as well as the current legislation and future trends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Biomaterials for Food Edible Coatings)
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