Edible Films and Coatings for Meat and Poultry



Edible films and coatings are defined as continuous matrices that can be prepared from proteins, polysaccharides and/or lipids to alter the surface characteristics of a food. Although the terms films and coatings are used interchangeably, films in general are preformed and are freestanding, whereas, coatings are formed directly on the food product. Proteins used in edible films include wheat gluten, collagen, corn zein, casein and whey protein. Alginate, dextrin, pectin chitosan, starch and cellulose derivatives are commonly used in polysaccharide films. Suitable lipids for use in films and coatings include waxes, acylglycerol, and fatty acids (Kester and Fennema 1986). Composite films containing both lipid and hydrocolloid components have also been developed.

Plasticizers are often added to film-forming solutions to enhance the properties of the final film. These film additives are typically small molecules of low molecular weight and high boiling point which are highly compatible with the polymer. Common food-grade plasticizers such as sorbitol, glycerol, mannitol, sucrose and polyethylene glycol decrease brittleness and increase flexibility of the film, which are important attributes in packaging applications. Plasticizers used for protein-based edible films decrease protein interactions and increase both polymer chain mobility and intermolecular spacing (Lieberman and Guilbert 1973). The type and concentration of plasticizer influence properties of protein films (Cuq et al. 1997); mechanical strength, barrier properties, and elasticity decrease when high levels of plasticizers are used (Cherian et al.1995; Galietta et al. 1998; Gontard et al. 1993). Water is another important plasticizer for protein films (Krochta 2002). Similar to other plasticizers, water content impacts film properties.


Whey Protein Isolate Poultry Product Sorbic Acid Refrigerate Storage Gelatin Film 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science & Human NutritionMichigan State UniversityUSA

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