Application of Biocomposite Films of Chitosan/Natural Active Compounds for Shelf Life Extension of Fresh Poultry Meat

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Active packaging based on chitosan (Ch) incorporated with six different natural hydro-alcoholic extracts (HAE) (rosemary, green tea, black tea, ginger, kenaf, and sage) were developed and tested to extend the shelf life of fresh poultry meat. The quality of the meat packaged was assessed through physical-chemical and microbiological characterization over 15 days of refrigerated storage. In vitro antimicrobial activity of pure extracts and films against Gram-positive (B. cereus) and Gram-negative (S. enterica) foodborne bacteria was also addressed. Pure extracts and the films developed showed antimicrobial activity by the diffusion agar method only against the Gram-positive bacteria. Microbial analysis of the meat wrapped with films incorporated with HAE showed a reduction of 3.1–4.5 log CFU/g and 2.5–4.0 log CFU/g on the total viable microorganisms and total coliforms, respectively. Ch + Kenaf and Ch + Sage films presented the highest antimicrobial activity. Regarding the oxidation degradation, as expected, TBARS values increased for all samples over time. However, the meat wrapped in the biocomposites, except for CH + Sage, presented lower secondary oxidation metabolites (reduction of 75–93%) in the content of malonaldehyde. This protection was superior for the meat wrapped with Ch + Rosemary. Active film also showed promising results by retarding the discoloration process and the increase of pH over time. Thus, the biocomposites produced can pose as an alternative technology to enhance the shelf life of fresh poultry meat and maintain its quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number342
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • active packaging
  • antimicrobial
  • antioxidant
  • biodegradable films
  • hydro-alcoholic extracts
  • natural additives


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