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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops and their Co-Products

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Edible films from pectin: Physical-mechanical and antimicrobial properties - A Review

Authors
item Espitia, Paul -
item Du, Wen-Xian
item Avena Bustillos, Roberto
item Fatima, Nilda -
item Soares, Nilda -
item McHugh, Tara

Submitted to: Food Hydrocolloids Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2013
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Repository URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodhyd.2013.06.005
Citation: Espitia, P.J., Du, W., Avena Bustillos, R.D., Fatima, N.D., Soares, N.F., Mchugh, T.H. 2013. Edible films from pectin: Physical-mechanical and antimicrobial properties - A Review. Food Hydrocolloids Journal. 35:287-296. DOI:10.1016/j.foodhyd.2013.06.005.

Interpretive Summary: Pectin is one of the main components of the plant cell wall. In the food industry, pectin is used as a gelling, stabilizing, or thickening agent in food products such as jam, yogurt drinks, fruity milk drinks, and ice cream. Due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, edibility, and versatile chemical and physical properties, pectin is a suitable polymeric material for the development of edible films intended as active food packaging. Active packaging is a packaging system which has functions beyond basic barrier properties that are achieved by adding active ingredients in the packaging material. When the packaging system has antimicrobial activity, the packaging limits or prevents the microbial growth. This review describes the main methods for making pectin edible films, principal methods for determining their physical-mechanical properties, and applications of pectin edible films as antimicrobial food packaging. Finally, legislation and future trends regarding the use of pectin edible films are also discussed.

Technical Abstract: Pectin is one of the main components of the plant cell wall and chemically, pectin is constituted by poly a1–4-galacturonic acids. According to its degree of esterification with methanol, pectin can be classified as high methoxyl pectin or low methoxyl pectin. In food industry, pectin is listed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration and is used as a gelling, stabilizing, or thickening agent in food products such as jam, yoghurt drinks, fruity milk drinks, and ice cream. Due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, edibility, and versatile chemical and physical properties (such as gelation, selective gas permeability, etc), pectin is a suitable polymeric matrix for the elaboration of edible films intended as active food packaging. Active packaging is a packaging system which possesses attributes beyond basic barrier properties that are achieved by adding active ingredients in the packaging material and /or using functionally active polymers. When the packaging system has antimicrobial activity, the packaging limits or prevents the microbial growth by extending the lag period and reducing the growth rate of microorganisms. This review describes the main methods for elaborating pectin edible films, principal characterization techniques for determining their physical-mechanical properties, and applications of pectin edible films as antimicrobial food packaging. Finally, legislation and future trends regarding the use of pectin edible films are also discussed.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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