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Electrospun curcumin-loaded protein nanofiber mats as active/bioactive coatings for food packaging applications

Alehosseini, Ali, Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura G., Martínez-Sanz, Marta, López-Rubio, Amparo
Food hydrocolloids 2019 v.87 pp. 758-771
coatings, curcumin, encapsulation, food packaging, foods, gelatin, green tea, hydrocolloids, hydrophobicity, nanofibers, protective effect, solubility, water content, zein
In this study, curcumin was encapsulated within electrospun protein (i.e. gelatin and zein) fibers to generate bioactive coatings for food packaging. Additionally, a green tea extract (GTE) was also incorporated within the formulations to evaluate its impact on the stability, protective ability, and release properties of the curcumin-loaded fibers.Due to the poor solubility of curcumin in aqueous media, a strategy based on its incorporation through liposomes was developed, allowing to successfully incorporating curcumin into gelatin fibers. Very high encapsulation efficiencies were attained for both zein and gelatin, with the former showing an enhanced protection effect and a more limited and slower release of the curcumin in hydrophobic food simulants. The addition of GTE resulted in strong interactions being established with the proteins and, in the particular case of gelatin, it improved the protective effect and slowed down the curcumin release from the fibers, although it did not prevent their collapse in water.The results showed that while the developed gelatin coatings showed a promising release behavior in contact with fatty food simulants, zein-based coatings would be more adequate for packaging of high water content food products.