Actual and future trends in antimicrobial food packaging
Antimicrobial packaging is one of the new active packaging concepts developed as a response to the consumer’s demands and market trends. It presents a challenging technology with impact on shelf-life extension combined with food quality and safety. Direct surface application of antimicrobial substances onto food is limited due to rapid diffusion from the surface into the food mass. However, the uses of packaging films containing antimicrobial agents are more efficient due to the mechanism of slow migration from the packaging material to the surface of food. This work presents review of actual and future trends in antimicrobial food packaging technology, emphasizing on antimicrobial substances, mechanisms of their diffusion, determination of antimicrobial activity, legislation concerning antimicrobials and perspectives on this topic.
Antimicrobial food packaging (AFP), as a part of an active packaging concept, presents one of the most promising concepts in future food safety and quality (1-3). AFP acts to reduce inhibit or retard the growth of microorganisms that may be present in the packed food or packaging material (1-4). Antimicrobial packaging is referred to food-packaging system that inhibits spoilage and reduces the existences of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) in food (1-7). Active packaging systems involve interaction between the packaging material and the food to provide desirable effects and extend the shelf-life of packaged food (2, 3).
Microbial contamination reduces the shelf-life of food and increases the risk of food borne disease. Direct surface application of antimicrobial substances onto food is limited due to rapid diffusion from the surface into the food mass (3). However, the use of packaging films containing antimicrobial agents are more efficient compared to direct addition of antimicrobial substances into the food, because of the mechanism of slow migration from the packaging material to the surface of packaged food (1-7, 9,15 ...