Essential Oils as Possible Candidates to Be Included in Active Packaging Systems and the Use of Biosensors to Monitor the Quality of Foodstuff
Active packaging has gained interest in recent years. As well as protecting food from the environment, it can incorporate agents with specific properties to extend the shelf life of the food. As a requirement, it is essential that the active agent has a greater affinity for the food than for the packaging material and, in this sense, essential oils (EOs) are potential candidates to be included in this new packaging system. The use of EOs can add to food matrix antimicrobial and antioxidant
... rties, reduce the permeability of the packaging to water vapor and extend the shelf life of food products. However, their use has been limited because they can produce a strong flavor by interacting with other compounds present in the food matrix and modify the organoleptic characteristics. Although the nanoencapsulation of EOs can provide chemical stability and minimize the impact of the Eos on the organoleptic properties by decreasing their volatilization, some physical modifications have still been observed, such as plasticizing effects and color variations. In this sense, the quality of the food products and consumer safety can be increased by using sensors. This technology indicates when food products are degrading and informs us if specific packaging conditions have changed. This work focuses on highlighting the use of biosensors as a new methodology to detect undesirable changes in the food matrix in a short period of time and the use of nanotechnology to include EOs in active films of natural origin.