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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO PROCESS AND PACKAGE TECHNOLOGIES

Location: Residue Chemistry and Predictive Microbiology

Title: Development of chlorine dioxide releasing film and its application in decontaminating fresh produce

Authors
item Ray, Soumi -
item Jin, Zhonglin
item Fan, Xuetong
item Liu, Linshu
item Yam, Kit -

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 29, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Ray, S., Jin, Z.T., Fan, X., Liu, L.S., Yam, K. 2013. Development of chlorine dioxide releasing film and its application in decontaminating fresh produce. Journal of Food Science. 78(2):M276-M284.

Interpretive Summary: Most fresh fruits and vegetables can be consumed directly. Any pathogenic contaminants in these foods can cause severe illnesses. A feasibility study was conducted to packaging films that release chlorine dioxide for decontaminating fresh produce in a container. The results indicated that the films reduced more that 99.9% of Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 on tomatoes. This study demonstrated the technical feasibility for development of a packaging system that releases a gaseous antimicrobial to enhance the microbial safety and extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

Technical Abstract: A feasibility study was conducted to develop chlorine dioxide releasing packaging films for decontaminating fresh produce. Sodium chlorite and citric acid powder were incorporated into polylactic acid (PLA) polymer. Films made with different amount of PLA (100 & 300 mg), percentage of reactant (5-60%), and ratios of sodium chlorite to citric acid (1:2 or 2:1) were prepared using a solvent casting method. The release of chlorine dioxide from the resultant films was activated by moisture. Increase of reactants in the films produced more chlorine dioxide 2 while higher PLA content in the films resulted in less release of chlorine dioxide. The ratio of sodium chlorite to citric acid and activation temperature (22C vs. 10C) didn’t affect the chlorine dioxide release from the films. Antimicrobial efficacy of chlorine dioxide released from the films was evaluated using grape tomato as a model food. The results indicate that the films were activated by moisture from tomatoes in the package and the released chlorine dioxide reduced Salmonella spp. and E. coli O157:H7 inoculated on the tomatoes to undetectable levels (less than 5 CFU/tomato), achieving more than 3 log reduction. The film-treated tomatoes did not show significant changes in color and texture as compared to controls during storage at 10C for 21 days. This study demonstrated the technical feasibility for development of gaseous chlorine dioxide releasing packaging system to enhance microbial safety and extend shelf life of fresh produce.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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