<li>To measure antimicrobial activities of a large number of naturally-occurring, plant-derived, food-compatible antimicrobial compounds dissolved or suspended into apple puree and tomato puree slurries</li>
<li>To evaluate the bactericidal activities of these slurries against foodborne pathogenic bacteria including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, and Bacillus cereus</li>
<li>To evaluate the physicochemical and sensory properties of films made from these apple and tomato puree slurries</li>
<li>To explore applications of the antimicrobial films to different food categories including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and rice products.</li>
APPROACH: Food processors, producers and consumers are all increasingly concerned with the growing number of food foodborne illness outbreaks caused by pathogens. In an effort to combat these concerns, this study proposes to characterize the antimicrobial activity of plant-derived essential oils, oil compounds, flavonoids, and other plant compounds against Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, and Bacillus cereus in fruit- and vegetable-based edible films. Apple and tomato films will be used as model systems. Minimum levels of plant compounds will be incorporated into the films to achieve the necessary antimicrobial effectiveness. Novel emulsion and bilayer films systems will be developed for controlled release of antimicrobials. Physicochemical properties, including water vapor, oxygen permeability, and tensile properties, of final films will be characterized. Storage stability in terms of antimicrobial effectiveness of films and safety as food components will be evaluationed at ambient and refrigerated conditions. Antimicrobial edible coatings and wrappings will be applied on meat, poultry, cereals, and precut fruit and vegetables. Quality and safety of edible films with plant antimicrobials will be evaluated on these food systems. Sensory analyses will also be performed. By providing a new outlet for underutilized fruit and vegetable purees and pastes, these value-added antimicrobial films can enhance long-term viability and competitiveness of U.S. fruit and vegetable farming industries within the global economy. In addition, the safety of foods commonly consumed by consumers will be improved. Fundamental knowledge of fruit- and vegatble-based edible films with antimicrobial phytochemicals and desirable functional properties can be used to develop healthy, safe foods for the future. Documents NRI Grant. Log 31839.