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Fish gelatin: a renewable material for developing active biodegradable films

AuthorsGómez Guillén, M. C. CSIC ORCID; Pérez-Mateos, Miriam ; Gómez Estaca, Joaquín CSIC ORCID; López Caballero, M. E. CSIC ORCID; Giménez, B.; Montero García, Pilar CSIC ORCID
KeywordsFish gelatin
Issue Date2009
CitationTrends in Food Science and Technology 20(1): 3-16 (2009)
AbstractMost films used to preserve foodstuffs are made from synthetic plastic materials. However, for environmental reasons, attention has recently turned to biodegradable films. Gelatin has been extensively studied for its film-forming capacity and applicability as an outer covering to protect food against drying, light, and oxygen. Moreover, it is one of the first materials proposed as a carrier of bioactive components. Gelatins from alternatives to mammalian species are gaining prominence, especially gelatins from marine fish species. Because of their good film-forming abilities, fish gelatins may be a good alternative to synthetic plastics for making films to preserve foodstuffs. The mechanical and barrier properties of these films depend largely on the physical and chemical characteristics of the gelatin, especially the amino acid composition, which is highly species specific, and the molecular weight distribution, which depends mainly on processing conditions. Different film formulations can be developed to extend the films' physical and chemical properties and to add new functional attributes. This paper reviews the most recent scientific literature dealing with films based on gelatins from different fish species and considers various strategies intended to improve the physical properties of such films by combining fish gelatins with such other biopolymers as soy protein isolate, oils and fatty acids, and certain polysaccharides. The use of plasticizers and cross-linking agents is also discussed. Specific attributes, such as antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, may be also conferred by blending the gelatin with chitosan, lysozyme, essential oils, plant extracts, or vitamin C to produce an active packaging biomaterial.
Description14 pages, 2 tables.-- Printed version published Jan 2009.
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