Active Edible Coatings for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

  • Swarajya Laxmi Nayak
  • Shruti Sethi
  • R. R. Sharma
  • Uma Prajapati


Fruits and vegetables are perishable products due to their high metabolic activities, water loss and susceptibility to pathogens. Thus, each year huge losses occur in horticultural products during handling and transportation. Various pre and postharvest treatments are available to attenuate these losses. Amongst these, use of edible coatings is a key means to enhance the storability of the product. The edible coatings are environment-friendly greener approach to mitigate the postharvest losses. Edible materials having suitable moisture and gas barrier properties are applied as a thin layer on the surface of the product to minimize the changes that occur due to biochemical processes. There is a paradigm shift in the development of coatings that are added with features such as improved functionality through incorporation of certain antimicrobials, texture enhancers and nutraceuticals. The use of active edible coatings is a novel approach to extend the shelf-life of the product by incorporating active ingredients into the polymer matrix, which can be consumed with the food, thus enhancing safety, and nutritional and sensory attributes. On the other hand, the smart edible packaging makes use of immobilized antimicrobial nanoparticles applied on the food surface to control the release of active ingredients that enhance the storage life of the product for desired duration. The materials used for the edible coating must be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and must be approved by the FDA. The success of edible coatings for fresh products depends completely on the control of internal gas composition and ethanol fermentation, changes in color, firmness loss etc. This chapter will cover the recent advances in the development of coatings from different polymers incorporated with functional ingredients to improve quality and ease of use on fresh fruits and vegetables.


Active Edible Coating Additives Antimicrobial Antioxidant Probiotic 



The authors would like to thank colleagues and students who gave inputs for compiling this chapter.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swarajya Laxmi Nayak
    • 1
  • Shruti Sethi
    • 1
  • R. R. Sharma
    • 1
  • Uma Prajapati
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Food Science and Postharvest TechnologyIndian Council of Agricultural Research – Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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