Application of controlled release food packaging technology with antioxidant properties for fresh meat preservation

Fresh meat is highly perishable due to its biological composition and postmortem biochemical changes, and several quality degradation reactions inside fresh meat are triggered by oxygen, such as lipid oxidation, growth of aerobic microorganisms, and enzymatic browning. Thus, oxidation is a significant issue need to be solved urgently in meat storage and transportation process. The development of antioxidant active packaging by releasing antioxidants into meat or scavenging free radicals, oxygen and metal ions from fresh meat provides a novel way to preserve fresh meat, where packaging materials prevent oxidative degradation through the combination of antioxidants and packaging film(Benbettaïeb et al., 2019; Domínguez et al., 2018; Falowo et al., 2014). Also, plant extracts, essential oils have become the main potent natural antioxidants(Kumar et al., 2015; Shah et al., 2014). Despite the benefits of active packaging, it has not been widely used for antioxidant functions to stabilize and enhance meat properties, and due to the high hydrophilicity of some natural agents, their stability decreases upon migration to the surface of the film, thus refinements are necessary before feasible implementation. And the controlled release of antioxidant compounds in meat packaging environment and the relationships between antioxidant efficacy entrapped in antioxidant releasing packaging materials, especially how they influence the properties of the packaging materials and their release properties still need further research. Moreover, research about combination of existing and novel preservation techniques against deteriorative effects to maintain freshness of meat is rare, and it is worth to investigate internal mechanism of the quality control of packaged fresh meat.

Aim: The objective of this research is to design and assess an active antioxidant packaging film which can maintain quality, ensure safety and prolong the shelf life of fresh meat by slow releasing of antioxidant compounds in an efficient controlled manner and exhibiting their higher loading. And focus on the kinetics and mechanism of active compounds releasing from the package so as to match the release kinetics with the meat deterioration kinetics.

This research will be as follows: Developing and refining the controlled release packaging films with antioxidant property. Determining the characterization (physical, optical, antioxidant, mechanical and barrier properties, etc.) of the prepared films. Investigating quantitatively (statistical analysis and mathematical modelling, etc.) to determine the release study(kinetics and mechanism of active compounds releasing from the prepared films) involved in the process. Applying the packaging films on fresh meat and having physicochemical analyses and shelf life assessment of samples.

1. Benbettaïeb, N., Karbowiak, T., & Debeaufort, F. (2019). Bioactive edible films for food applications:Influence of the bioactive compounds on film structure and properties. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 59(7), 1137–1153.

2. Falowo, A. B., Fayemi, P. O., & Muchenje, V. (2014). Natural antioxidants against lipid-protein oxidative deterioration in meat and meat products: A review. Food Research International, 64, 171–181.

3. Domínguez, R., Barba, F. J., Gómez, B., Putnik, P., Bursać Kovačević, D., Pateiro, M., Santos, E. M., & Lorenzo, J. M. (2018). Active packaging films with natural antioxidants to be used in meat industry: A review. Food Research International, 113(June), 93–101.