Trends in Food Science & Technology 20 (2009) 92e99

Viewpoint

New antimicrobial active package for bakery products
´ Laura Gutierreza, Cristina ´ ´ Sancheza,b, Ramon Batllea,b and ´ Cristina Nerına,*
a

Aragon Institute of Engineering Research (I3A), CPS, ´ University of Zaragoza, Marıa de Luna 3, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain (Tel.: D34 976761873; fax: D34 976762388; e-mail: cnerin@unizar.es) b Department of IDDDi, ARTIBAL S.A., Canada Real ˜ 12, 22600 Sabinanigo, Huesca, Spain ˜´

The use of essential oils as food preservatives has gained a great deal of attention over the last years. Specifically, the protective potential achieved by their addition to the packaging material has been demonstrated in vitro. Nevertheless, there is very little information available concerning their use with real, complex food and no procedure for quality evaluation is readily available. This manuscript presents a number of alternatives useful for active essential oil-based packaging as well as a procedure for sensory evaluation that can be easily implemented in different food products. The use of a cinnamon-based active package has been proven to increase more than three times the product shelf-life of a complex bakery product with a minimal change in the packaging and no additional manipulation steps. The quality and definition characteristics were not altered by the use of this concept. Product is nowadays in the final steps prior to market introduction.

Introduction Fungi are the most common spoilers in bakery products. Commonly, a shelf-life around 3e4 days may be expected when they are unpreserved. Apart from the repelling sight of visible growth, fungi are responsible for off-flavour formation and the production of mycotoxins and allergenic
* Corresponding author.
0924-2244/$ - see front matter Ó 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2008.11.003

compounds. The use of weak organic acids such as propionic, benzoic, and sorbic, investigation on the packaging material, or modified atmosphere packaging in the last years have been the main choice for satisfying the market demands to extend the shelf-life of bakery products ´ (Fernandez, Vodorotz, Courtney, & Pascall, 2006; Legan, 1993; Pagani, Lucisano, Mariotti, & Limbo, 2006). Specifically, ethanol has been commercially used in the form of a sachet or incorporated into the packaged material; however, this option has a negative public perception, raises the chances to develop a residual flavour and implies regulatory issues (Plastic additives, 2004). Apart from chemical preservatives, ultraviolet light and aseptic packaging have been proposed for controlling microbial growth in bread. Nowadays, consumers show preferences for products without preservatives but keeping free from microbial growth, toxins and other quality deteriorating factors maintaining freshness and sensorial qualities. Therefore, challenge for the food industry is to fulfil these demands with minimum change in food quality and maximum security, without using chemical preservatives (Vermeiren, Devlieghere, van Beest, de Kruijf, & Debevere, 1999). Active packaging is a very interesting alternative to both the use of preservatives or modified atmosphere packaging MAP. It involves the incorporation of agents in the packaging that can either interact directly with the packaged foodstuff or with the atmosphere inside the package. The development of active materials with properties for enhancing the shelf-life and safety of packaged food is nowadays one of the most challenging research activities. Several approaches have been proposed but only a few of them have ´ become commercially available (Matan et al., 2006; Nerın et al., 2006; Suppakul, Miltz, Sonneveld, & Bigger, 2006; ´ ´ Tovar, Salafranca, Sanchez, & Nerın, 2005) and applications to bakery products are very scarce (Nielsen & Rios, 2005; Suhr & Nielsen, 2005). Some antimicrobial films have already been evaluated for food-packaging applications, such as alpha- and beta-cyclodextrin encapsulated allyl isothiocyanate in polylactide-co-polycaprolactone films (Plackett & Ghambari-Siahkali, 2007); polymeric films coated that incorporate Enterocin 416K1 (Iseppi ´ et al., 2008); blends of gliadins and chitosan (Fernandez´ ´ ˜ Saiz, Lagaron, Hernandez-Munoz, & Ocio-Saiz, 2008) or hexamethylenetetramine (Devlieghere, Vermeiren, Jacobs, & Debevere, 2000); polyethylene coated with an antimicrobial peptide (Miltz, Rydlo, Mor, & Polyakov, 2006) or

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nisin-incorporated cross-linked hydroxypropylmethyl-cellulose (Sebti, Delves-Broughton, & Coma, 2003) . Although the antimicrobial properties of natural extracts have been known for centuries, only limited publications ´ have reported their use in active packaging (Lopez, ´n, 2007b; Matan et al., 2006; Rodrı´ Sanchez, Batlle, & Nerı ´n, & Batlle, 2008). The use of natural extracts, guez, Nerı such as essential oils (EO hereafter) and their constituents, categorized as flavourings by the European Union (2002/ 113/EC, 2002; 2004/1935/EC, 2004; 89/107/EEC, 1989); and as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the US Food and Drug Administration, in plastic films to avoid microbial food spoilage is an attractive option for both packaging manufacturers and demanding consumers. In these concepts, the active substances are released from the packaging material to the surface of the product during the whole shelf-life of the packaged foodstuff. Antimicrobials incorporated into packaging materials can, therefore, control microbial contamination by reducing the growth rate and maximum growth population and/or extending the lag-phase of the target microorganism or by inactivating microorganism by contact (Quintavalla & Vicini, 2002). The usefulness of these packaging alternatives have been demonstrated at a laboratory scale using ´ ´ in vitro conditions (Lopez, Sanchez, Batlle, & Nerın, ´ 2007a; Lopez et al., 2007b) and even some of them have ´ been tried with slice bread (Rodrıguez et al., 2008) but far more information is needed on their performance when working with commercial products. Therefore, this paper has two main aims. First, to test the usefulness of the natural extract-active film developed for its use with a commercial complex bakery product. Second, to fully evaluate the sensory characteristics of the proposed setup in order to detect potential drawbacks or pitfalls not related with food objective quality but to food subjective perception. Obviously, these results constitute the final decision tool for launching into the market the packaged food product. Essential oils and antimicrobial films The essential oil (EO) of Cinnamomum zeylanicum (cinnamon, Chemical Abstract Service, CAS, number: ´ 8015-91-6) was supplied by Argolide Quımica S.L. (Barcelona, Spain). The antimicrobial films were prepared in the laboratory by incorporating known concentrations (w/w) of the EO in films of polypropylene (PP hereafter) (30-mm ´ thick, supplied by Poligal, S.A., Naron, Spain) suitable for food packaging via an innovative process protected by a European Patent EP1657181 held by the company ˜´ ARTIBAL S.A. (Sabinanigo, Spain). Bakery product A grand total of 54 independent samples of the bakery product from different batches were used in this study. All of them were supplied by a small size company interested in the study. Because of the commercial interest of this

development, a confidential agreement applies and no more data about the company will be provided. The product is a complex mixture prone to microbial infestation and quality deterioration. Yolk, almonds, nuts, raisins swilled in rum as well as other common ingredients are included in the formula. The whole product is covered with a sugar layer. The main desirable characteristics of the product were defined as tenderness of the inner part while nuts and almonds kept crunchy and the yolk cannot be visually distinguished from the mixture and only the taste can be perceived. This product has an additional challenge as the requirement of humidity to keep tenderness should not influence the crunching and flavouring of the other ingredients. This product is well balanced just made and the same properties are required for its shelf-life. No preservatives are added during its baking. In fact, this is considered as a handmade product. Headspace-single drop microextraction (HS-SDME) The atmosphere generated inside the active bag was sampled using headspace-single drop microextraction (HS´ SDME) as described by Romero, Lopez, Rubio, Batlle, and ´ Nerın (2007). Briefly, a 5-mL microsyringe with a 26S type needle (Hamilton 85RN, Bonaduz, Switzerland) containing p-xylene as the extractive phase was introduced inside the bag. The plunger was then depressed and a 2.5-mL drop was exposed to the sample for 5 min. After exposure, the drop was retracted again into the syringe and then, it was transferred to the injection port of a GCeMS system. Gas chromatographyemass spectrometric (GCeMS) analysis GCeMS analysis were performed using a Hewlett-Packard 6890 chromatograph (Wilmington, DE, USA) equipped with a 5973 mass selective detector and a HP-5 MS (60 m  0.25 mm, 0.25 mm film thickness) capillary column. The temperature program for the GC was as follows: initial temperature 75  C, 10  C/min ramp to 190  C, then 20  C/min to 280  C, held for 5 min. The injector temperature was maintained at 300  C and operated in splitless injection mode with the valve closed for 1 min. Helium ´ (99.9999% pure, Carburos Metalicos, Zaragoza, Spain) was used as the carrier gas at a constant flow of 1 mL per min. The interface temperature was 280  C and the ionization mode was electron impact (70 eV). The mass selective detector was operated in the scan mode between 45 and 400 m/z. Sensory testing A trained panel of 12 individuals was used to evaluate the sensorial properties and possible changes in the bakery product by each different option of packaging under study. This was made in order to verify that the extension in shelflife would not affect the quality of the product. The technique used in this case was the classification of the responses given by the tasters in a scale where several

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descriptors, defined according their relevance in the final quality, were qualified. The perception of the tasters concerning the magnitude of the differences, the intensity of the descriptors related to taste, flavour, sight, color and tender were evaluated in a scale ranging from 1 to 8 points, being 8 the highest intensity. Three experts (members of the staff of the manufacturing company) were also included in the panel as a reference. Testing was conducted over a 28-days period, covering a time-span longer than the required shelf-life, established by the manufacturing company in 10 days. Currently the shelf-life is no longer than three days. The following check-points were scheduled (reported as days from manufacturing): 0, 3, 6, 10, 14, 21, and 28. As a reference, recently just made products were introduced in the trials. Packaging options The bakery samples were introduced in a bag made using all the PP packaging materials and different options evaluated. Then, the plastic bags were thermosealed in all cases. The following options were evaluated in the tests. 1 Paraffin paper. This is the traditional packaging material used to cover this specific product by the manufacturing company (Blank). 2 PP non-active nor micro perforated (PPno). 3 PP non-active micro perforated with a density of 16 holes per dm2 (PPnoM) 4 PP active (4% w/w) micro perforated with a density of 16 holes per dm2 (PPM). 5 PP active (2% w/w) partially micro perforated (3 rows of 5 cm each) (3 row). 6 PP active (2% w/w) partially micro perforated (2 rows of 5 cm each) (2 row). 7 Same as 5 including a polyethylene (PE)-coated board piece to separate the bottom of the product from the board secondary package (coated board). 8 Same as 6 where the PE-coated board piece has been metalized and introduced into the active PP bag (aluminum tray). In every test, fresh, just made products in the traditional packaging material were used as blank samples. All options were kept inside the cardboard box used for the company as secondary packaging for commercial and marketing purposes. Development In a preliminary step, the suitability of the packaging material intended to come into contact with food was evaluated. As has been described in the introductory section, no regulatory issues arise from the use of essential oils as preservative. Nevertheless, the first stage consisted of measuring the volatile compounds released by the active material to get an idea about the potential impact characteristics of the product. The rationale for

´ this work is that, in a previous work (Lopez, Huerga, ´ Batlle, & Nerın, 2006), the release and identification of the active compounds from the active film was determined. Fig. 1 shows the chromatograms obtained when sampling the headspace generated inside the bag using the SDME GCeMS strategy described in the Experimental Section. As can be seen, the very same chemicals were detected with (top graph) (PPM) or without (bottom graph) (PPnoM) active film and they are included in the characteristic flavour of the product. Nevertheless, when the active packaging (PPM) was analysed in the absence of the bakery product, a clear signal corresponding to cinnamaldehyde (chemical responsible of the cinnamon characteristic flavour) was obtained. Therefore, it is hypothesized that this chemical is readily absorbed by the product and as a consequence, it was included in the flavour descriptors as an undesirable characteristic. Different groups of descriptors were identified and used in the sensory evaluation. They can be roughly divided into five groups: taste, odour (flavour), texture, general appearance and presence of moulds. Every group was fully divided into more specific indicators, which were included into the evaluation sheet. These indicators were as follows. 1 Taste: the following individual markers were defined and included.  Characteristic taste, as a positive factor. It represents the similarity obtained by the individual between the test and the blank items.  Cinnamon taste. This factor can be considered either positive or negative, since acceptance of this specific taste is very subjective. Nevertheless, since it represents an alteration of the expected taste, it was included as negative.  Board taste. This is a negative factor and represents the alteration due to the board material used as secondary packaging. 2 Flavour.  Board flavour. This is also a negative factor and represents alteration due to the board material used as secondary packaging.  Cinnamon flavour. As in the previous paragraph, it was considered as negative factor. 3 Texture.  Tenderness. Positive factor, representing the appropriate resistance of the product when chewed, relative to the blank item.  Crunchiness and crispiness. Positive factor, relative to the consumer’s perception of the nuts when compared to the blank item.  Elasticity rubber-like. Negative factor, referring to the change in the product overall texture. It was defined by the expert members of the sensory evaluation board as a clear indicative of aging.

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Fig. 1. Typical gas-chromatograms obtained inside the PP bag in the final commercial disposition with packaged product. Top panel, active film used (PPM, option 4); bottom panel, raw PP used (PPnoM, option 3).

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4 General appearance.  Freshness. Positive, description of the overall perception of the product when compared to the blank item.  Fat stains. Negative, with the original packaging, it was observed that stains appeared with time on the bottom of the board secondary package. They were attributed to the fat migration from the packaged product, and severely detract from marketability. 5 Presence of moulds. Zero-tolerance was defined for this descriptor, meaning that it was considered as an

ONeOFF test, concerning the final acceptance of the different packaging options. Nevertheless, for clarity purposes, the relative abundance of the moulds onto the packaged foodstuffs was represented by a numerical value: 1 represents total absence of visible growth, whereas 7 indicates complete contamination by moulds. Fig. 2AeC illustrates the evaluation results of the sensory attributes obtained when using the active package approaches (three independent replicates were analyzed for each control point). As can be seen, a clear

A

3 Days
9 8 7 6

Score

5 4 3 2 1 0 Blank PPNo PP NoM PP M 2 Row 3 Row C. Board A. Tray

Fresh Appearance

Crunchy and Crispy

Characteristic Taste

Sample

B

7 Days
8 7 6

Score

5
Fresh Appearance

4 3 2 1 0 Blank PPNo PP NoM PP M 2 Row 3 Row C. Board A. Tray
Crunchy and Crispy

Characteristic Taste

Sample

C

10 Days
8 7 6 5

Score

4 3 2 1 0 Blank PPNo PP NoM PP MA 2 Row 3 Row C. Board A. Tray

Fresh Appearance

Crunchy and Crispy

Characteristic Taste

Sample
Fig. 2. Results obtained in the evaluation of the diverse active packages. For package identification, please proceed to the experimental section. All the results represent the average of three replicates.

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improvement with respect to the traditional package was detectable even at the initial stages (day 3) of the evaluation was demonstrated. It is worth to highlight that the punctuations obtained were consistently high for all the active solutions at day 7 and that the decrease was only detected at day 10, varying among the various active solutions. Taking into account the scale used for the different descriptors and the expectancies, an average value of 5 was defined as an acceptable product. Only the aluminum tray packaging (A. Tray, option 8) gave these results at day 10. To explain in detail these achievements, it is interesting to go deeper into the results. The next set of spider plots illustrate in detail the results obtained for each packaging combination at day 10. Spider plot was selected since it provides a very intuitive and direct view of the results; factors were arranged so that parameters considered as negative are at the top and the positive attributes can be seen at the bottom of the figures. Every spider plot represents the average of three independent replicates. As can be seen in Fig. 3, when the traditional package (top) was changed to raw PP (middle graph) significant worsening was obtained for the elasticity descriptor, whereas the other factors remained somehow unchanged with only slights improvement for characteristic taste and fat stains. As a first modification, a physical change in the packaging material (micro perforation, as described in the materials and methods section) was then evaluated (bottom graph) and proven only successful in reduction of the rubber-like perception. As can be seen, very low numbers (2 or 3) were obtained for the positive factors, whereas very high values were obtained for the negative ones, reflecting the clear fact that the product does not fit the required quality standards. No significant improvement in the positive factors other than the tenderness (2 to 3) was found. Considering these results together with the ones described in the previous paragraph it seems clear that the combination of different micro perforation densities to reduce elasticity rubber-like and active packaging to reduce presence of moulds could constitute a better approach. Three different densities were tested and the results are displayed in Fig. 4. In the top graph, a reduction of presence of moulds from 7 without active packaging to 1 for the active option was observed. Middle and bottom graphs gave best results for cinnamon perception while maintaining the antifungal capabilities required. Moreover, these combinations increased the scores in the positive factors, especially in characteristic taste, as could be expected. The last challenge was to reduce the high scores obtained by the factors that can be related with the secondary package-board interaction such as board taste and flavour, as well and fat stains. To do so, the best active plastic package results were combined with different secondary package combinations and are illustrated in Fig. 5. First, a board tray coated with PE layer (package option 7) was introduced between the secondary package and the product in order to minimize the transference of board characteristics to the product. As shown in Fig. 5 (top), this option was a clear

0_Parafina

1_PP non active no microperforated 2_PP non active microperforated

Fig. 3. Non-active packaging options: spider plots obtained after sensory evaluation at day 10. Top, traditional (blank, option 1) package; middle, PPno (option 2); bottom, micro perforated PPnoM (option 3).

success since a reduction in scores for these factors was obtained as well as a significant increase in positive factors such as tenderness and freshness with no worsening of any desirable performance. In order to achieve a final improvement of the package, the PE-coated piece was metalized (package option 8) to further minimize the interaction between the secondary package and the product. As depicted in Fig. 5 (bottom), the results obtained were very good, providing the lowest scores for the negative factors and the maximum scores for the positive ones (with the only exception of the freshness which provides a score of 7 instead of 8).

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Elasticity Rubber 10.00 Like 9.00 8.00 Presence 7.00 of 6.00 Molds 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Cinnamon Taste

Board Taste Board Flavour

Fat Stains

Tenderness

Characteristic Taste

Fresh Appearence

Crunch and Crispy

Board Taste Board Flavour

Fat Stains

Elasticity Rubber 10.00 Like 9.00 8.00 Presence 7.00 of 6.00 Molds 5.00 4.00 3.00 2.00 1.00 Cinnamon Taste

Tenderness

Characteristic Taste

Fresh Appearence

Crunch and Crispy

Fig. 5. Different alternatives tested to minimise secondary packaging-food alterations: spider plots obtained after sensory evaluation at day 10. Top, use of PE-coated board (option 7); bottom, metalized PE-coated board (option 8).

Fig. 4. Combination of micro perforation and active concentration: spider plots obtained after sensory evaluation at day 10. Top, PP (4%) active micro perforated (PPM, option 4); middle, PP (2%) active partially micro perforated (3 Row, option 5); bottom, PP (2%) active partially micro perforated (2 Row, option 6).

in shelf-life from 3 to 10 days with maximum quality and safety, as demonstrated by the sensory evaluation results. The evaluation procedure described (including factor definition and evaluation) can be easily adapted to any bakery product and could be established as a standard for this development. Further work is currently under way for industrial scale-up. Hopefully, the product will be in the market in the near future.

Conclusions This work has illustrated the successful design, development and testing of an active package based on the use of cinnamon essential oil in combination with micro perforated polypropylene. The final design provided an increase

Acknowledgments This work has been financed by the Research Projects Cal03-080 from INIA and FEDER; AGL2004-07545 from the Spanish Ministry of Education and University and FEDER and INTERREG IIIA-5-326 C. L.G. acknowledges the Spanish Ministry of Education and University for a grant (BES-2005-10186). R.B. expresses his gratitude to the former Spanish Ministry of Science and

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´ Technology for personal funding through the Ramon y Cajal program. References
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