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Incorporation of Food-Grade Antimicrobial Compounds into Biodegradable Packaging Films

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Lysozyme and nisin are both antimicrobial proteins effective against gram-positive bacteria. The use of these antimicrobials in combination with chelating agents displays increased effectiveness against gram-negative bacteria. Packaging films with lysozyme or nisin incorporated into the film structure were tested separately for inhibition against Lactobacillus plantarum. Both lysozyme and nisin were used in combination with EDTA in films and were evaluated for inhibition against Escherichia coli. Two packaging film–forming methods were used to incorporate lysozyme or nisin into biodegradable protein films to determine if antimicrobial properties could be induced in the film. Heat-press and casting methods were used to produce films made from soy protein and com zein. Circular samples were cut from the finished films, which were then placed on a bacterial lawn, incubated, and measured for any zones of inhibition. Both cast and heat-press films with added lysozyme or nisin formed excellent films and exhibited inhibition of bacterial growth. The lysozyme and nisin retained their bacteriocidal properties throughout both the heat-press and cast film-forming processes. The cast films exhibited larger inhibitory zones, as compared to the heat-press films, when the same levels of lysozyme or nisin were incorporated. L. plantarum was inhibited by films containing nisin or lysozyme. The addition of EDTA increased the inhibitory effect of films against E. coli.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0371, USA

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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