Cinnamon oil-polypropylene combo keeps bread extra fresh

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food safety

An active package based on cinnamon essential oil and micro perforated polypropylene may extend the shelf-life of bread by a week, says a new study.

Spanish researchers from the University of Zaragoza and Artibal S.A. report that the final packaging design increased the shelf-life from three to 10 days.

Furthermore, sensory evaluation tests showed that the packaging ensured “maximum quality and safety”, report the researchers in the journal Trends in Food Science & Technology​.

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.

The same researchers recently reported in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry ​that solid wax paraffin incorporating cinnamaldehyde-fortified cinnamon essential oil could be an efficient antimicrobial coating for paper or board packaging to inhibit white bread spoiling.

The new study adds to these earlier results, and the researchers conclude: “The evaluation procedure described (including factor definition and evaluation) can be easily adapted to any bakery product and could be established as a standard for this development.

“Further work is currently under way for industrial scale-up. Hopefully, the product will be in the market in the near future.”

Corresponding author of the study, Professor Cristina Nerin told “The active packaging it is now available at industrial scale.”

“We are working with other bakery companies now and there is a great interest in that, as the shelf life for the product is longer with food safety, which means that no moulds or other microbiological problems will affect the food products,”​ added Prof. Nerin.

Packaging production

The researchers prepared the antimicrobial films using the essential oil of Cinnamomum zeylanicum​ (cinnamon, Chemical Abstract Service, incorporated at known concentrations in films of food-grade polypropylene using “an innovative process protected by a European Patent EP1657181 held by the company Artibal S.A.”​.

Fifty-four bakery products were packaged and their sensorial properties analysed by a panel of 12 trained individuals. Chemical analyses were also performed using headspace-single drop microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

The researchers note that “no regulatory issues arise from the use of essential oils as preservative”​.

Source: Trends in Food Science & Technology​Volume 20, Issue 2, Pages 92-99 “New antimicrobial active package for bakery products”​ Authors: L. Gutierrez, C. Sanchez, R. Batlle, C. Nerin

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