As we have mentioned in previous articles in this section on the world of natamycin, this antifungal agent is mainly used to coat the surface of cheeses and sausages in order to extend their shelf life, and as an active agent in packaging for this type of product.
New studies on the latest coating techniques in which natamycin plays an important role are constantly being carried out. An inexpensive antifungal film for cheese packaging was recently developed using a custom coating process, which involved natamycin being directly sprayed on the surface of the heat-softened polyethylene film.
Two spraying systems
Two spray systems were examined, which were sprays composed of a solution of natamycin and ethanol, and another suspension of natamycin and n-heptane with the same concentration of natamycin.
In order to select the right system, differences in the efficiency of the coating were evaluated and compared in terms of the particles’ shape, size, dispersion and distribution, and the adhesion of the polyethylene film and natamycin, and the antifungal activity of both modified films.
The suitability of the final product in terms of its use as a flexible food packaging was also taken into consideration.
The results showed that the natamycin coating can be achieved in two different ways: by the direct incorporation of particles, or by a type of in situ formation. However, regardless of which alternative is used, these films are completely effective against bacteria such as A. niger, for example.
It can consequently be said that it is completely feasible to manufacture this type of coating on an industrial scale. This means it is possible to produce a completely antifungal film suitable for the packaging of cheese, which can in turn be handled intensively with no reduction in its effectiveness at any time.