Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Edible coatings can extend significantly the shelf life of fruit and vegetables

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Edible coatings can extend significantly the shelf life of fruit and vegetables
Trials using a range of edible coatings demonstrate long shelf life extension for a various whole and minimally processed fruit and vegetables.
In Development – The researchers are looking for opportunities to progress the research outside of Pakistan.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Not Applicable

Relevant Packaging Formats
Not Applicable

Supply Chain Phase
Processing

Details

A research project has successfully extended the shelf life of various fruits and vegetables through the application of a range of different edible coatings.

Coatings used in the trials were carbohydrate-based coatings (chitosan, alginate and starch) and protein-based coatings (spy and whey). Fruits treated were strawberries, apples, mangoes and apricots. Vegetables tested were cucumber and carrot.
 
Treated fruits were kept refrigerated with controlled relative humidity. They were evaluated regularly for their physicochemical and sensory attributes. Physicochemical attributes tested were weight and moisture loss, pH, acidity, total soluble solids and vitamin C. Sensory checks included colour, flavour, firmness, and taste ratings.
 
For strawberries, shelf life extension of up to two weeks was reported. For apricot and apple a shelf life of six and seven weeks respectively was achieved.
The mango was minimally processed and the resultant dices were coated, reducing moisture and weight loss.
 
The research was undertaken in the National Institute of Food Science and Technology in Pakistan. The researchers are now looking for opportunities to take the research outside of Pakistan.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

By extending shelf life edible coatinds could help to reduce wastage of perishable fresh produce both in the supply chain and in the home.

Intellectual Property

The research, which was funded by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, has been published under the title “Developing and exploring the role of edible coatings to improve the quality and shelf life of whole and minimally processed fruits”.

Consultant View

This is one of many projects investigating the potential benefits of applying coatings to food to extend shelf life. Others are also included in the REID database. However, readers are reminded that there are also other ways to extned the shelf life of produce, such as improved packaging solutions (barrier materials, modified atmosphere packaging, etc) Relevant examples of both coatings and other technologies can be found in REID using the search term "Shelf life extension".

Contacts and Further Information

Dr Masood Sadiq Butt
National Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFSAT)
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (UAF)
Tel: +92-41-9200161-70 Ext. 3017
Email: drmsbutt@uaf.edu.pk

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