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New coating can prevent bread spoilage, says Repsol

By Jane Byrne , 15-Dec-2008
Last updated on 15-Dec-2008 at 13:30 GMT

An antimicrobial wax paraffin coating for paper or cardboard packaging has been given a commercial release, says Spanish developer Repsol YPF.

The Madrid-based company claims that its Rycoat F-100 wax paraffin coating incorporating cinnamaldehyde-fortified cinnamon essential oil is an efficient antimicrobial coating for paper or board packaging to inhibit white bread spoiling.

Javier Dabrio Ramos of the lubricants and specialities department at Repsol told FoodProductionDaily.com that the new coating is now ready to undergo testing with industrial partners.

This publication previously reported on the development of the coating as part of a research project that involved Repsol and researchers from the University of Zaragoza.

The team said, at the time, that while different approaches have been proposed for controlling the growth of microbes in sliced bread, including ultraviolet light, aseptic packaging, and use of chemical preservatives, their project was the first application of active packaging for this purpose.

Active packaging changes the condition of the packaged food product to either extend its shelf life or improve its safety while ensuring quality. Processors are increasingly seeking it out to help prevent spoilage of foods through moulds.

Their University of Zaragoza study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, evaluated the affect of active paper supplied by Repsol-YPF against the mould Rhizopusstolonifer.

R. stolonifer fungus constitutes along with Aspergillus and Penicillium genera, the most prevalent spoiler of white bread and baked goods.

"The results demonstrate that six per cent (w/w) of the essential oil in the active coating formulation completely inhibits the growth of R. stolonifer," wrote the researchers. The active paper was further evaluated with food by using sliced bread and varying storage times. "After three days of storage, almost complete inhibition is obtained with 6 per cent cinnamon essential oil," claim the researchers.

The university research team found that the use of this active paper packaging is a smart alternative for protecting bread from fungal infestation since no direct contact between the food and the packaging is required.

The study, said the scientists, was based on the release of the active chemicals from the active coating to the internal atmosphere in the packaging and they said that this atmosphere is responsible for the antifungal activity.

Lead researcher Christine Nerin said that the cinnamon-based paper will be applicable to preventing spoilage of many food products other than white bread such as fruits and vegetables that are transported and sold in paper boxes.

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