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Alginate- and Gellan-Based Edible Films for Probiotic Coatings on Fresh-Cut Fruits

Tapia, M.S., Rojas-Graü, M.A., Rodríguez, F.J., Ramírez, J., Carmona, A., Martin-Belloso, O.
Journal of food science 2007 v.72 no.4 pp. E190
apples, fresh-cut foods, edible films, coatings, alginates, gums, glycerol, acetylcysteine, ascorbic acid, citric acid, papayas, permeability, probiotics, Bifidobacterium, refrigeration, cold storage
Alginate- (2% w/v) or gellan-based (0.5%) edible films, containing glycerol (0.6% to 2.0%), N-acetylcysteine (1%), and/or ascorbic acid (1%) and citric acid (1%), were formulated and used to coat fresh-cut apple and papaya cylinders. Water vapor permeability (WVP) was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in alginate films (0.30 to 0.31 x 10⁻⁹g m/Pa s m²) than in the gellan ones (0.26 to 0.27 x 10⁻⁹g m/Pa s m²). Addition of 0.025% (w/v) sunflower oil decreased WVP of gellan films (0.20 to 0.22 x 10⁻⁹ g m/Pa s m²). Water solubility of gellan and alginate films at 25 °C (0.47 to 0.59 and 0.74 to 0.79, respectively) and their swelling ratios (2.3 to 2.6 and 1.6 to 2.0, respectively) indicate their potential for coating high moisture fresh-cut fruits. Fresh-cut apple and papaya cylinders were successfully coated with 2% (w/v) alginate or gellan film-forming solutions containing viable bifidobacteria. WVP in alginate (6.31 and 5.52 x 10⁻⁹g m/Pa s m²) or gellan (3.65 and 4.89 x 10⁻⁹ g m/Pa s m²) probiotic coatings of papaya and apple, respectively, were higher than in the corresponding cast films. The gellan coatings and films exhibited better water vapor properties in comparison with the alginate coatings. Values > 10⁶ CFU/g B. lactis Bb-12 were maintained for 10 d during refrigerated storage of fresh-cut fruits, demonstrating the feasibility of alginate- and gellan-based edible coatings to carry and support viable probiotics on fresh-cut fruit.