The current project focuses on the development, refinement and adaptation of innovative edible packaging, which extends the shelf life of fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables. It is foreseen to use biopolymers obtained from renewable natural sources that have high biological value, antimicrobial activity, good physical, sensory and barrier parameters, while not polluting the environment with synthetic waste.

The implementation of the project will fulfill the following main tasks: obtaining model multicomponent edible films (polysaccharide-essential oil, polysaccharide-polysaccharide) and characterizing their barrier, microbiological, physical and physicochemical parameters. Comparative analysis will be used for edible coatings methods to fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables (dipping, spraying and wrapping in previously obtained foil). Determining the main indicators of packaged and unpackaged (control) fruits and vegetables. Examination of the shelf life of packaged and unpackaged fruits and vegetables under controlled storage in a chamber (accelerated method for testing the shelf life time with temperature, humidity and light regulation) and in a refrigerator.

For the purpose of the project, a visual imaging system will be developed that allows for an express evaluation of the surface properties of the packed products – color, disruption of the integrity of the surface layer, various diseases and more.

The planned studies are expected to identify the properties of new edible packaging and to optimize its composition and application method in order to achieve better performance of packaged fruits and vegetables and longer shelf life. Thus, the increased efficiency of the edible coating technology is assumed.

The proposed project will contribute to the achievement of fundamental and applied scientific knowledge in a rapidly developing world direction, such as improving the quality of food products and extending their shelf life. It is in line with the national priority for the development of the research on Health and quality of life, biotechnology, environmentally friendly and healthy food.

The balanced team of physicists, chemists, biochemists, microbiologists and specialists in polymer science is a guarantee for the sustainable development of the multidisciplinary subject offered and the transfer of knowledge in various fields of science and practice.

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