14. Edible Films and Coatings

  1. Vicente M. Gómez-López2,3
  1. María Alejandra Rojas-Graü,
  2. Laura Salvia-Trujillo,
  3. Robert Soliva-Fortuny and
  4. Olga Martín-Belloso

Published Online: 20 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118229187.ch14

Decontamination of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce

Decontamination of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce

How to Cite

Rojas-Graü, M. A., Salvia-Trujillo, L., Soliva-Fortuny, R. and Martín-Belloso, O. (2012) Edible Films and Coatings, in Decontamination of Fresh and Minimally Processed Produce (ed V. M. Gómez-López), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118229187.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC, Murcia, Spain)

  2. 3

    Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnolog-a de Alimentos, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela

Author Information

  1. Department of Food Technology, University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813823843

Online ISBN: 9781118229187



  • Edible films and coatings;
  • antimicrobials;
  • safety;
  • quality;
  • shelf life


The search for methods aimed at retarding microbial growth is of great interest to all sectors involved in the production and preservation of fresh-cut commodities. In this sense, edible coatings are considered a strategy to reduce the deleterious effects that minimal processing may have on intact vegetable tissues by reducing the migration of moisture and solutes, gas exchange, respiration, oxidative reactions, and, in turn, physiological disorders. In addition, edible coatings can act as carriers of antimicrobials, antibrowning agents, antimicrobials, colorants, flavoring agents, nutrients, or even probiotics. Hence, edible films and coatings carrying antimicrobial compounds provide a novel way to improve the safety and shelf life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables. This technique has the advantage of boosting the inhibitory effects of active compounds against spoilage and pathogenic bacteria by maintaining effective concentrations on the food surface. This chapter is focused on the use of edible films and coatings as carriers of antimicrobials on foods. A brief description of the main compounds used to form edible coatings and their most relevant properties is included, as well as an overview of the effects of edible coatings on the safety, quality, and shelf life of fresh-cut produce. Some considerations about toxicity and regulatory status are also discussed.