Abstract: Trout-skin (Oncorhynchus mykiss) gelatin-based films containing antioxidants (epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), 50 and 250 ppm w/w) and green tea powder (1% and 20% w/w of gelatin) were tested for tensile strength, elastic modulus, and elongation, and oxygen and water vapor transmission rates, in vitro antioxidant activity using the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) assay and effect on stabilizing cod-liver oil held under mild thermal abuse conditions. Cod-liver oil overlaid with films was stored at 40 °C for 20 d and analyzed for peroxide value (PV) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). Antioxidant activity was retained in films containing green tea powder, but was reduced (P < 0.05) in EGCG films (20 d, 23 °C). Water vapor transmission rate of the films incorporated with antioxidants did not change significantly (P > 0.05), but the oxygen transmission rate for films with 50 ppm EGCG and 20% green tea powder was significant (P < 0.05). Other physical properties varied with antioxidant incorporation. The TBARS and PV of control oil increased from 0.05 ± 0.01 to 4.71 ± 0.30 g MDA/kg oil and from 3.6 ± 0.2 to 178.3 ± 24.5 millieq peroxides/kg oil, respectively, after 20 d. For cod-liver oil covered with control or antioxidant-containing films, TBARS remained below 0.37 g MDA/kg oil and PV below 7 millieq peroxides/kg oil. Incorporation of antioxidants to the films did not reduce oil oxidation (P > 0.05) at the levels tested and this was confirmed by activation energy calculations. The rate of oil oxidation was more dependent upon the inherent oxygen barrier property of the films than the presence of antioxidants.
Practical Application: This research has the potential to enhance the utilization of fish skins, a valuable food processing by-product, as edible films with natural antioxidants to extend the shelf life of foods. The film physical properties and barrier to oxygen and water are investigated.