Polysaccharide-based aerogels as water absorbent and oxygen scavenger in meat packaging

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Title: Polysaccharide-based aerogels as water absorbent and oxygen scavenger in meat packaging
Author: Gracanac, Bojana
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Food and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2015
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201510193746
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Food Science
Food Science
Food Science
Abstract: Polysaccharide-based aerogels are a novel concept with potential application in the food sector due to their material properties, renewability and sustainability. High absorption capacity of polysaccharide aerogels makes them a potential moisture absorbent material in meat packaging. The aim of this work was to study the tamarind seed galactoxyloglucan (XG) aerogels as potential meat packaging material by testing their absorption capacity and mechanical properties. Another objective of this study was to create an oxygen scavenger system by incorporating enzyme galactose oxidase, which utilizes oxygen in its enzymatic cycle, into aerogels matrix and thus removes residual oxygen from modified atmosphere meat packaging. Absorption capacity of aerogels was investigated in three different liquids (water, saline and drip) by immersion of aerogels samples for 48 h. Five specimens of each group were used for texture analysis. In addition, incorporation of monosaccharide substrate and enzymes was performed and oxidation reaction was followed at different time intervals. Degree of oxidation was determined by gas chromatography˗mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. XG aerogels showed high absorption capacity absorbing water and saline 40 times their weight. However, absorption of drip was 20 times their initial weight. Texture analysis results demonstrated that wet aerogels are strong enough to hold the meat while at the same time elastic enough not to fracture under load applied. Incorporation of enzymes into aerogels in aqueous system showed promising results with degree of oxidation 56 and 73% after 48 h. Absorption of drip and mechanical properties of aerogels indicated potential application of polysaccharide aerogels as fresh meat packaging material. In addition, incorporation of enzymes demonstrated promising results for creating an oxygen scavenger system. However, further research is needed to develop manufacturing technology and define possible application of aerogels.
Subject: polysaccharide-based aerogels
meat packaging systems
water absorbents
oxygen scavengers

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