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Active packaging film prevents lipid oxidation in oil-in-water emulsion systems.

Lipid oxidation is a major cause of deterioration in a product's quality. Trace transition metals, especially iron, are believed to play an important role in accelerating lipid oxidation. Synthetic chelators, such as the chelator disodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate (EDTA), effectively prevent iron-promoted oxidative degradation.

However, consumers are increasingly demanding additive-free products. Non-migratory metal-chelating active packaging systems offer a novel way to protect packaged foods against lipid oxidation while avoiding the use of such additives as EDTA.

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts have developed a non-migratory active packaging film by grafting metal-chelating monomers, namely acrylic acid, onto polypropylene films using a photoinitiated graft polymerization technique. They believe that using such an effective and economical active packaging film holds potential for reducing the use of additives while maintaining product quality.

The ability of the acrylic acid grafted polypropylene film to inhibit lipid oxidation was evaluated in an oil-in-water emulsion system at pH 7.0. The researchers also determined what impact the surface area of the grafted film, based on different sizes--2, 4, 6, and 8 [cm.sup.2]--might have on the emulsion system. Emulsions were incubated at 37 C, and the investigators measured levels of lipid hydroperoxides and hexanal during the storage period. With surface areas as low as 2 [cm.sup.2], the film significantly extended the lag phase of lipid hydroperoxide formation from two days to eight days, and from three days to eight days for hexanal formation, compared to the native polypropylene film.

Compared to smaller film surface areas of 2 [cm.sup.2] and 4 [cm.sup.2], larger surface areas of 6 [cm.sup.2] and 8 [cm.sup.2] extended from one to two days the lag phase of lipid hydroperoxide formation, and two to three days the lag phase of hexanal formation. The effect of pH from 3.0 to 7.0 on the ability of the acrylic acid grafted polypropylene film to inhibit lipid oxidation was also determined. The researchers indicate that lipid oxidation analyses show that their antioxidant packaging films are capable of controlling lipid oxidation.

Further information. Julie Goddard, Department of Food Science, University of Massachusetts, 344 Chenoweth Laboratory, Amherst, MA 01003; phone: 413-545-2275; fax: 413-545-1262; email: goddard@foodsci.umass.edu.
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:369
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