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Gelatine Film Incorporated with Clitoria ternatea-Derived Anthocyanin Microcapsules, A Food Packaging Material Effective Against Foodborne Pathogens 

Chean Ring Leong1*orcid tiny, Nurul Shahida Daud1, Woei Yenn Tong1orcid tiny, See Yuan Cheng2orcid tiny, Wen Nee Tan3orcid tiny, Nurhanis Syafiqah Hamin1 and Khairul Faizal Pa'ee1orcid tiny

1Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian Institute of Chemical and Bioengineering Technology, Lot 1988 Kawasan Perindustrian Bandar Vendor, Taboh Naning, 78000 Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia

2Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Hang Tuah Jaya, 76100, Durian Tunggal, Melaka, Malaysia

3School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Article history:

Received: 23 November 2020

Accepted: 28 September 2021

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Key words:

gelatine film, food packaging, anthocyanins, natural antimicrobial agent, foodborne pathogens, Clitoria ternatea


Research background. Microbial contamination of food products is one of the significant causes of food spoilage and foodborne illnesses. The use of active packaging films incorporated with antimicrobial agents can be a measure to improve food quality and extend shelf life. Nevertheless, antimicrobial agents such as silver, copper, titanium and zinc in the packaging films have raised concerns among consumers due to toxicity issues. 

Experimental approachThe current study aims to develop biodegradable gelatine-based edible films incorporated with microcapsules of Clitoria ternatea-derived anthocyanins as a natural antimicrobial agent. The impact of incorporation of microcapsules with anthocyanins on the morphology, thermal, mechanical, water vapour barrier and physicochemical properties of the gelatine films was evaluated in this study. The effectiveness of the developed films against foodborne pathogens and their application for perishable food protection were also investigated.

Results and conclusions. The results show that incorporating anthocyanin microcapsules enhances the gelatine film physical and mechanical properties by increasing the thickness, tensile strength, Young’s modulus and elongation at break of the films. Scanning electronic microscopy analysis revealed that the film surface morphology with anthocyanin microcapsules had a homogeneous and smooth surface texture compared to the control. The thermogravimetric analysis also showed a slight improvement in the thermal properties of the developed films. Agar well diffusion assay revealed that the developed films exhibit significant inhibition against a broad-spectrum of bacteria. Furthermore, the films composed of gelatine with anthocyanin microcapsules significantly reduced the total viable count of microorganisms in the bean curd during storage for 12 days compared with the control films.

Novelty and scientific contributionIncreasing global awareness of healthy and safe food with minimal synthetic ingredients as preservatives has sparked the search for the use of antimicrobial agents of natural origins in active food packaging material. In this study, a safe and effective active packaging film was developed using an environmentally friendly biopolymer, gelatine film incorporated with microcapsules of Clitoria ternatea-derived anthocyanins as a natural antimicrobial agent. This study demonstrated that such a method is not only able to improve the film physical properties but can also significantly prolong the shelf life of food products by protecting them from microbial spoilage.

*Corresponding author: +6065512000

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