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Edible apple film may protect against food pathogens


September 24, 2009
By Institute of Food Technologists

Topics

September 24, 2009 – Meat
and poultry products may be rendered safer with the use of edible apple film
wraps, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by
the Institute of Food Technologists.



September 24, 2009 – Meat
and poultry products may be rendered safer with the use of edible apple film
wraps, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by
the Institute of Food Technologists.

September 24, 2009 –
Foodborne pathogens like Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and
Listeria monocytogenes are serious safety issues for food processors and
consumers alike. However, meat and poultry products may be rendered safer with
the use of edible apple film wraps, according to a new study in the Journal of
Food Science
, published by the Institute of Food Technologists.

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Researchers from the
University of Arizona investigated the use of carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde in
apple-based films. Carvacrol is the main ingredient of oregano oil, and
cinnemaldehyde is the main ingredient of cinnamon oil. The researchers looked
at how the antimicrobials in these films would protect against S. enterica and
E. coli O157:H7 on chicken breast and L. monocytogenes on ham at two different
temperatures. Their findings are as follows:

  • Carvacrol was a stronger
    antimicrobial agent against both Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 than
    cinnamaldehyde on the chicken breast at 4 C.
  • At 23 C, S. enterica
    population reductions were similar for both carvacrol and cinnamaldehyde but
    higher for carvacrol against E. coli O157:H7.
  • Carvacrol was also a
    stronger antimicrobial agent against L. monocytogenes than cinnamaldehyde on
    ham at 4 C and 23 C.
  • The antimicrobials
    containing apple films were also effective against the natural microflora
    present on raw chicken breast.

“Our findings provide a
scientific rationale for large-scale application of apple-based antimicrobial
films to improve microbial food safety,” says lead researcher Sadhana
Ravishankar. “The use of edible antimicrobial films offers several consumer
advantages, including prevention of moisture loss, control of dripping juices —
which reduces cross contamination — reduction of rancidity and discolouration,
and prevention of foreign odor pick-up.”