The manufacture of active packaging for food is undoubtedly the field with the greatest potential in scientific research applied to the food sector.
That is why many studies are being carried out on new technologies for manufacturing the new generation of packaging, in order to optimise the dose and effectiveness of the substances they contain, such as Natamycin.
One of these is a scientific study carried out in Brazil which was recently published in the journal SN Applied Sciences.
The study was carried out using the technique of electrospinning to manufacture nanotextures, to which various antifungal substances were applied. It showed that of the five compounds tested, Natamycin had the greatest influence on the measurements of the nanofibre. Thanks to this enhanced interaction with the microfabric, the samples containing Natamycin presented better antifungal activity.
The advantages of Natamycin compared to other antifungal agents are its low toxicity levels and broad spectrum of action, i.e. it can be used to eliminate many different types of fungi without affecting the quality and safety of food.
The culture models for fungi were produced in media including skim milk agar, and in samples of soft cheese, for application in the food industry.
There is as yet little information available on how to incorporate Natamycin or other antifungal substances into nanofibres.
The polymer chosen for this study is based on PCL (poly-ε-caprolactone), and different varieties of the polymer were tested to determine their physical and chemical properties in order to apply Natamycin-coated nanofibres in food packaging.
One of the strong points of PCL is its slow degradation, which ensures that the nanofibres remain active for long periods.
As can be seen from the table showing the results of the study, the results of the four different nanofibre variants with Natamycin (column NF1 to NF4) generally act as antifungal agents. The study was carried out over 14 days at a room temperature of 20 degrees centigrade.
Values with diameters other than zero were obtained, and the inhibition halo of the colonies of the various fungi and yeasts is also largest in samples NF1 and NF4.
Once again, the results show that Natamycin-enriched nanofibres are effective platforms for removing yeast and filamentous fungi from the surfaces of cheese and dairy products.