Antimicrobial packaging systems are those that beneficially interact with the food or with the surrounding environment, inhibiting microorganism growth or reducing their counts to improve the quality and extend the shelf-life of industrially produced foods. They have undoubtedly become a fully accepted alternative to the direct addition of preservatives to foods, with excellent future prospects.
This book will help develop a working knowledge and understanding of antimicrobial packaging, it includes a description of the antimicrobial agents most commonly used and their mechanisms of action, the manufacturing methods available to fabricate the active system, the critical parameters to make an effective product and the tools to optimise them, and the various in vitro and in vivo methods for measuring the goodness of the antimicrobial system for validation purposes.
The reader will develop the ability to understand why a specific agent is selected for a particular food product, or why a specific polymeric material and manufacturing technology are chosen. The reader will also become familiar with the different procedures for improving the activity of the packaging solution that is being developed and ways of testing its efficacy. This will accelerate the formulation of the active packaging concept, reducing development-time with respect to the trial and error processes common in many literature reports. Finally, it will help to identify the best and most cost-effective solutions. This volume is intended to be a practical guide to antimicrobial packaging and a quick reference for students and researchers from both academia and industry.