Strawberries are one of the most economically important fruits worldwide but are easily susceptible to bruising and are highly perishable. A new study in the August issue of the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) found that edible active coatings (EACs) based on pectin, pullulan and chitosan may improve quality and shelf life of strawberries. Edible coatings protect perishable food products from deterioration and act as a protective cover (Atress, 2010). Pectin is present in the cell walls of many fruits and vegetables; chitosan is a major component of crustacean shells and exhibits antifungal properties; and pullulan provides extracellular support. A team of researchers from Mexico discovered that EACs incorporated with sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate reduced fruit softening, reduced microbial growth, preserved the color, flavor and texture of strawberries, and increased the shelf life of strawberries from six to 15 days.
View the Journal of Food Science abstract here.