Edible Coating with Betel Leaf Extract for Fresh Produce Preservation

Greg Howard
17th May, 2024

Edible Coating with Betel Leaf Extract for Fresh Produce Preservation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at The University of British Columbia and Shoolini University developed an edible coating using xanthan gum and betel leaf extract
  • The coating showed strong antimicrobial properties against bacteria and fungi, helping to preserve food quality
  • Tomatoes coated with this solution retained their weight, texture, and sensory attributes while reducing microbial populations over 27 days of storage
Edible coatings are gaining attention as sustainable alternatives to traditional food packaging, offering potential benefits in extending the shelf life and maintaining the quality of fresh produce. A recent study conducted by researchers at The University of British Columbia and Shoolini University developed an innovative edible and active coating using xanthan gum (XG) nanoemulsion (NE) incorporating betel leaf extract (BLE)[1]. This study aims to address the growing consumer demand for fresh, high-quality, and pesticide-free fruits with extended shelf life. The researchers focused on the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of BLE and its potential integration into edible coatings. The total phenolic content, total flavonoid content, and antioxidant capacity of BLE were characterized using methanol extracts at various concentrations. These properties are crucial as they contribute to the antimicrobial efficacy of the coating, which is essential for preserving food quality and safety. To develop the active coating, different formulations of Tween 80 (1% and 3% w/v), XG (0.1% to 0.5% w/v), and BLE (1% to 5% w/v) were tested for physical stability, viscosity, and antimicrobial properties. The results indicated that a formulation with 1% BLE exhibited significant antimicrobial properties against various bacterial and fungal pathogens, including Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, and Candida albicans. This study builds on previous research highlighting the potential of natural polymers and antimicrobial agents in food preservation. For instance, earlier studies have shown that natural polymers are highly suitable for use as packaging materials for fresh fruits, offering a viable alternative to synthetic chemicals[2]. Additionally, the incorporation of natural antimicrobial agents into edible coatings has been explored to control the diffusion of active compounds and maintain their concentrations on food surfaces[3]. This approach can help overcome the limitations associated with the rapid diffusion and interaction of natural preservatives with food components. The BLE-XG NE coating not only demonstrated antimicrobial efficacy but also enhanced the shelf life of fresh produce. The study specifically examined the shelf-life of tomatoes coated with the BLE-XG NE solution, stored at 4°C for 27 days. Various parameters, including weight retention, soluble solids, pH, texture, sensory attributes, and microbial populations, were analyzed to assess the effectiveness of the coating. The results showed that the BLE-XG NE coating effectively preserved the quality of tomatoes over the storage period. The tomatoes retained their weight, maintained desirable pH levels, and exhibited favorable texture and sensory attributes. Moreover, the microbial populations on the coated tomatoes were significantly reduced compared to the uncoated control samples, highlighting the antimicrobial efficacy of the coating. This study's findings are particularly relevant in the context of previous research on edible coatings. For example, polysaccharides like xanthan gum have been shown to decrease moisture loss and oil uptake in fried food products, enhancing their physical properties[4]. The current study expands on this by demonstrating the potential of xanthan gum-based coatings in preserving fresh produce. Furthermore, the use of betel leaf extract in the coating formulation is supported by earlier studies that have documented its antibacterial and antifungal properties[5]. Betel leaves have been shown to inhibit the growth of various Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, as well as fungal species, making them a valuable component in developing antimicrobial coatings. In summary, the development of an edible and active coating incorporating BLE into XG nanoemulsion presents a promising eco-friendly solution for preserving the quality of fresh produce. By leveraging the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of BLE, this study offers a viable alternative to conventional packaging, addressing the growing consumer demand for sustainable and high-quality food preservation methods.

AgricultureBiotechPlant Science


Main Study

1) Development and characterization of edible and active coating based on xanthan gum nanoemulsion incorporating betel leaf extract for fresh produce preservation.

Published 14th May, 2024


Related Studies

2) Recent advances in the preservation of postharvest fruits using edible films and coatings: A comprehensive review.


3) Natural Antimicrobial Edible Coatings for Microbial Safety and Food Quality Enhancement.


4) Effect of surface coating with seeds mucilages and xanthan gum on oil uptake and physical properties of fried potato strips.


5) Piper betle (L): Recent Review of Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties, Safety Profiles, and Commercial Applications.


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