Zein and its composites and blends with natural active compounds: Development of antimicrobial films for food packaging
In this chapter the current developments in using biopolymer zein for active edible film-making are discussed with particular emphasis on antimicrobial packaging. Recent studies have showed the possibility of developing effective antimicrobial edible packaging materials through the incorporation of different natural antimicrobial compounds, including antimicrobial enzymes, peptides, and phenolic compounds, into zein films. The zein-based films that contain antimicrobial enzyme lysozyme and bacteriocin nisin have great potential as antilisterial edible packaging materials. Additionally, zein-based films that contain natural phenolic compounds might be suitable for antimicrobial, antioxidant, and/or bioactive packaging. The use of composites of zein with waxes and blends of zein with fatty acids enables researchers to obtain antimicrobial zein-based films with controlled release properties.