CHINA – Carrot-based edible films have barrier properties that enhance their potential packaging use for a variety of food types, according to research conducted by the Jilin University in China.
Published in the Food and Bioproducts Processing journal, the study ‘Barrier and mechanical properties of carrot puree films’ focused on producing composite edible film with carrot puree and examining how levels of the other Components – carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), corn starch and gelatin – affect its mechanical and barrier properties.
Carrots were used because of their nutritional value, explained the research team, as well as to see whether more products based on the vegetable can be developed.
The team found that the film’s properties could be altered by varying the concentration of carrots’ main Components - water, protein cellulosic substances and pectic: “Generally, films made from polysaccharides, such as starches, gelatin and cellulose derivatives, are expected to be excellent oxygen barriers due to their tightly packed, and ordered hydrogen-bonded network structure, and have high tensile strength.”
“Obtaining films with good oxygen permeability (OP) and desirable film mechanical properties would be an indication of the possible use of carrot as an alternative source of packaging,” said the researchers.
The film was discovered to have good oxygen barrier properties, giving it the potential “to be used as a natural packaging to protect food from oxidation reactions”.
Overall, the carrot film also had intermediate water barrier properties, in comparison to other edible films.
“These results suggest that carrot puree films could be suitable as edible packaging for some foods or applied as a wrap on food products to provide nutrition and convenient use for consumers reducing food packaging waste,” the team concluded.
Confectionery prodicts, bakes foods, nuts and others have been flagged as possible applications, as well as fruit and vegetables.