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Keywords:

  • functional edible film;
  • cinnamon leaf essential oil;
  • fresh-cut fruit;
  • antioxidant capacity;
  • antibacterial properties

ABSTRACT

There is renewed interest in the antibacterial and antioxidant properties of essential oils as food additives. Among essential oils, cinnamon leaf oil is a potent antibacterial and antioxidant agent; however, the application in food systems can be affected by its volatility. The use of edible films is a good alternative for incorporating antibacterial agents and antioxidants into foods. This study aimed to develop an edible pectin film enriched with the essential oil from cinnamon leaves and prove that this application can increase the antioxidant status and reduce bacterial growth of fresh-cut peach. Films with different oil concentrations (0.0, 7.3, 15.7 and 36.1 oil g/l) were evaluated regarding eugenol content, thickness, moisture content, water vapour transmission, in vitro antioxidant activity and antibacterial properties of the films. No significant differences were found for the water vapour transmission among the films with different oil concentrations. The higher the added oil concentration the higher the eugenol content and antioxidant capacity; the films with 36.1 g/l were the only materials showing inhibition zones against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. Peaches were positively affected by the coating treatment, increasing its antioxidant status, odour acceptability and decreasing bacterial growth. These results demonstrate that the development of an edible film formulated with cinnamon leaf oil can be useful to preserve fresh-cut peach quality. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.