Bioactive packaging using antioxidant extracts for the prevention of microbial food-spoilage
Bioactive food packaging is an innovative approach for the prevention of the growth of food-spoilage microorganisms. Four active extracts from agroindustrial subproducts (Eucalyptus wood, almond shells, corn cobs and grape pomace) with demonstrated antioxidant activity have been investigated for bestowing antimicrobial activity to bioactive packaging. To carry out this evaluation, the antioxidant extracts were tested against five food pathogenic bacteria, namely, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella spp. The results obtained showed that all the tested extracts inhibited the growth of all five pathogenic bacteria. From the analysis of the minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs), the Eucalyptus wood extract was the most active, being necessary only 2% (v/v) to inhibit Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus, whereas almond shells extract were less active requiring 4% (w/v) to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the extract from corn cobs was bactericidal against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus at a concentration of 4% (w/v). After checking their antimicrobial activity, the antioxidant extracts have been incorporated into sodium alginate films and the maintenance of their antimicrobial properties was confirmed. This work showed that the antioxidant extracts from agroindustrial byproducts exhibited antimicrobial activity and were suitable for incorporation into edible films that could be used in bioactive packaging systems.