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Expanding horizons of active packaging: Design of consumer-controlled release systems helps risk management of susceptible individuals
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The objective of this study was the development of zein based antilisterial films that contain a consumer-controlled and pH-triggered release mechanism for lysozyme (LYS). For this purpose, composite films were formed by mixing hydrophobic zein with hydrophilic soy protein isolate (SPI) or lentil protein isolate (LPI). Active property of films was formed by maintaining 30 to 50% of total LYS in free form (LYSfree). On the other hand, the pH-triggered release mechanism was formed by exploiting attractive charge-charge interactions between LYS (pI: 11.4) and SPI or LPI (pI values ≈ 4.5), and binding remaining LYS (LYSbound) in film matrix. The pH-triggered release mechanism of composite films worked in buffers that had pHs varying between 4.3 and 7.3. The composite films bound majority of LYS between pH 5.3 and 7.3, but they released LYS at pH ≤ 4.5. The pH-triggered release of LYS was achieved with zein-LPI films activated by acidification in packed cold-stored beef, lamb and smoked salmon. The zein-SPI films performed pH-triggered LYS release in packed food with the exception of packed smoked salmon. The LYSfree and LYSbound released from pH-triggered films showed antimicrobial activity on Listeria innocua. Consumer-controlled release mechanisms enable increasing antimicrobial stress over pathogens during transfer from market to home and cold storage at home. Thus, such films could initiate personalized packaged food to help risk management of susceptible individuals.