lundi 8 juin 2009

Antimicrobial packaging: Antioxidants and Nanoscience

Polyphenol-rich extracts from olive oil pomace may reduce the formation of off-flavours in meats by as much as 80 per cent, suggests new research.

The olive extract, obtained from the waste waters of olive oil pomace, performed better than a commercial antioxidant sourced from wine, according to findings published in the journal Food Chemistry.

“The polyphenol extract from the waste water of olive oil’s pomace significantly inhibited lipid oxidation in pre-cooked ground beef and pork. The antioxidant effect increased with the dose and was higher in beef than in pork,” wrote Sharon DeJong from Food Science Australia and Maria Cecilia Lanari from Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Investigation (CONICET).

Nanotechnology promises big benefits for food safety, quality, and shelf life provided the challenges it brings can be overcome, delegates were told at the Institute of Food Technology's annual conference at Anaheim, California.

"There's great potential for nanoscience in food industry applications," said Bernadene Magnuson, senior scientific and regulatory consultant in food toxicology with Cantox Health Sciences International, Ontario, Canada. The technology, which harnesses the use of particles between one and 100 nanometers in length, could be used to provide anti-microbial coatings for food contact surfaces or packaging.

Other applications include using nanoscience to engineer sensors to detect pathogens and toxins in food or to register environmental changes. For example, nanochips in smart inks used for food packaging could register warnings if the temperature of the package rose above certain programmed limits.

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