Organic Acids Incorporated Edible Antimicrobial Films.


Plasticizers are necessary to produce protein or polysaccharide-based films to have desirable mechanical strength and flexibility for handling films and coatings from proteins.  One of the most commonly used plasticizer to produce films is glycerol.  Usually, 25 – 50% plasticizer is needed to obtain a film for easily handling.  Glycerol can impart a faint sweet flavor to edible films.  However, films with bland taste are desirable for multipurpose applications.

The novel feature of this invention is the ability to partly replace glycerol (75%) with organic acids (naturally present in fruits) and produced soy protein films that demonstrated effective inhibition of a wide spectrum of pathogens including Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella gaminara and E.coli 0157:H7.  This is the first time that malic acid incorporated film has been demonstrated to effectively inhibit these three major pathogens.  This antimicrobial film can find applications in a wide variety of meat, fruits and vegetable products for extending shelf life.  Malic acid incorporation in edible films is an effective, simple and economical procedure for minimizing/preventing growth of pathogens in surface applications.  Organic acids including malic acid are food grade additives safe for edible films.  Most of the antimicrobial compounds work at low pH.  Organic acid can be used as acidulants in these films to reduce pH.  Organic acids have taste blending characteristics and blending properties.

The film solutions can be used as coatings in meat, poultry, sea food and minimally processed fruits and vegetables.  Films have been produced using soy protein, rice bran extract, wheat gluten protein, egg albumen etc.  The films can be used to carry: antimicrobials, antioxidants, flavor, color, functional ingredients, drugs and packaging. 


Patent Information:
App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date
Non-Provisional United States 10/657,692 7,160,580 9/8/2003 1/9/2007 10/8/2024
For Information, Contact:
Bryan Renk
Associate Director for Technology Commercialization
University of Arkansas TCO
Navam Hettiarachchy
Satchithanandam Eswaranandam
Ronny Horax
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