Development Of Multifunctional Active Film And Its Application In Modified Atmosphere Packaging Of Shiitake Mushrooms
Agar-based films with multiple functions (CO2 absorption, water vapor absorption, and antimicrobial activity) were developed, tested for their properties, and then applied to the packaging of fresh shiitake mushrooms as an insert label. The films were cast from an agar-based aqueous solution containing a dissolving plasticizer (glycerol), a CO2 absorbent (sodium carbonate [SC] alone or a combination of SC and sodium glycinate [SC-SG]), and a volatile antimicrobial agent (carvacrol [CRV]). The agar of the film matrix is designed to serve as a water vapor absorbent. The multifunctional films tended to have poor mechanical properties, with a hard texture and an opaque and yellowish color. The CO2 absorbent, either SC alone or SC-SG, affected CRV retention and release along with the CO2 and water vapor absorption behavior. Both films (SC-CRV and SC-SG-CRV films) showed good inhibitory effects against Pseudomonas fluorescens and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. SC-CRV film had a higher and faster CO2 absorption property, higher retention and extended release of CRV, and lower and slower water vapor absorption and was assessed to be better suited for use in shiitake mushroom packaging. The packaging in which the SC-CRV film with an appropriate amount of CRV was used as an insert label was able to generate the desired atmosphere and less moisture condensation inside the package, producing the best preservation of quality in terms of mushroom color, firmness, flavor score, and microbial counts after 6 days of storage at 10°C. A tailored modified atmosphere packaging system using multifunctional film would be useful in the preservation of CO2-sensitive fresh commodities.