A controlled release matrix is a structure designed to control the release of active compounds from a film at a desired speed and duration (Poncelet 2006). Controlled release systems can be used to optimize effectiveness of antimicrobial packages to reduce microbial growth in packed foods. Antimicrobial properties of essential oils are well known, however the primary challenges in using essential oils as antimicrobials on foods is that they are highly volatile, have very low aqueous solubility, and they add intense flavours and aromas to the food product at the concentrations needed for bacterial inhibition (Kalemba and Kunicka 2003). Nanotechnology is a growing technology in the pharmaceutical industry that protects active ingredients from harsh environments and improves drug delivery and uptake; it could also be an effective technology in antimicrobial packaging to reduce sensory impact of these antimicrobials and to allow a progressive release of the bioactive compounds from the package to extend the antimicrobial effect.
In this research
(1) A controlled release system with carvacrol incorporated in packaging film will be developed.
(2) Mass transfer kinetics of antimicrobial compound (carvacrol) from developed films to headspace/food will be studied, and a mathematical model will be developed to study the partition activity of carvacrol from developed packaging system to food/headspace.
(3) The developed model will be used to optimize the composition of packaging film and to design the antimicrobial food packaging film with the functions of controlled release of antimicrobial compounds and extending shelf life of foods.
1. Poncelet, D. (2006). Microencapsulation: fundamentals, methods and applications. Surface Chemistry in Biomedical and Environmental Science, Springer: 23-34.
2. Kalemba, D. A. A. K., & Kunicka, A. (2003). Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Current medicinal chemistry, 10(10), 813-829.