Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer films based on the release of oregano essential oil and green tea extract components
Authors: Virginia Muriel-Galet and Marlene J. Cran and Stephen W. Bigger and Pilar Hernández-Muñoz and Rafael Gavara
Polymer films with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties were manufactured for the active packaging of food products. Green tea extract (GTE) and oregano essential oil (OEO) were incorporated in an ethylene–vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH). Release studies of the main active components of the films into three food simulants, 3% acetic acid, 10% ethanol and 50% ethanol, were conducted at 4 °C and 23 °C. The total antioxidant activity at equilibrium was measured in the food simulants and the antimicrobial capacity of the films was tested in vitro against Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Penicillium expansum. The results suggest that the release kinetics depend on the affinity between the active agents and the food simulants. In general, the fastest diffusion was obtained when films were exposed to 50% ethanol and that effect was concurrent with greater antioxidant efficiencies. The films also showed microbial growth inhibition in liquid media and in vapour phases, demonstrating that the developed films show strong potential for development as active food packaging films.