Towards the Development of Bioactive Packaging

Zvi Hayouka, Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem , Rehovot, Israel

Food-borne diseases have a major health, social, economic and industrial impact. As food production becomes increasingly automated, the number of surfaces which food come into contact with and the potential for cross-contamination increases. Food contamination leads to spoilage and growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Designing new approaches to inhibit microbial food contamination while maintaining quality, freshness, and safety are required. In my talk I will present our efforts towards the development of bioactive food processing surface technologies where the active agents are immobilized onto the surface materials via covalent linkages to prevent migration to the food. These bioactive surfaces will improve the quality and/or safety to reduce the risk of post-process microbial contamination and increase food shelf life. We developed novel antimicrobial sequence random peptide mixture of hydrophobic and cationic a-amino acids, such as phenylalanine and lysine. These peptidic mixtures display strong antimicrobial activity towards food borne pathogens. We charterized these novel compounds using analytical methods to asses their composition to understand their activity. We are currently immobilizing these random peptides mixture onto polystyrene beads as a model surface and characterizing their antimicrobial activity. Our long-term goal is to develop bioactive packaging to increase food shelf life and prevent post-process contamination to reduce food loss.

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