Food chemistry

Interactions of flavoured oil in-water emulsions with polylactide.

PMID 24262538


Polylactide (PLA), a biobased polymer, might prove suitable as eco-friendly packaging, if it proves efficient at maintaining food quality. To assess interactions between PLA and food, an oïl in-water model emulsion was formulated containing aroma compounds representing different chemical structure classes (ethyl esters, 2-nonanone, benzaldehyde) at a concentration typically found in foodstuff (100 ppm). To study non-equilibrium effects during food shelf life, the emulsions were stored in a PLA pack (tray and lid). To assess equilibrium effects, PLA was conditioned in vapour contact with the aroma compounds at concentrations comparable to headspace conditions of real foods. PLA/emulsion interactions showed minor oil and aroma compound sorption in the packaging. Among tested aroma compounds, benzaldehyde and ethyl acetate were most sorbed and preferentially into the lid through the emulsion headspace. Equilibrium effects showed synergy of ethyl acetate and benzaldehyde, favouring sorption of additional aroma compounds in PLA. This should be anticipated during the formulation of food products.