Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)

Determination of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from wrapping films and wrapped PDO Italian cheeses by using HS-SPME and GC/MS.

PMID 24968328


Nowadays food wrapping assures attractive presentation and simplifies self-service shopping. Polyvinylchloride (PVC)- and polyethylene (PE)-based cling-films are widely used worldwide for wrapping cheeses. For this purpose, films used in retail possess suitable technical properties such as clinginess and unrolling capacity, that are achieved by using specific plasticizers during their manufacturing process. In the present study, the main VOCs of three cling-films (either PVC-based or PE-based) for retail use were characterized by means of Solid-Phase Micro-Extraction and GC/MS. In addition, the effects of cling film type and contact time on the migration of VOCs from the films to four different PDO Italian cheeses during cold storage under light or dark were also investigated. Among the VOCs isolated from cling-films, PVC released 2-ethylhexanol and triacetin. These compounds can likely be considered as a "non-intentionally added substance". These same compounds were also detected in cheeses wrapped in PVC films with the highest concentration found after 20 days storage. The PE cling-film was shown to possess a simpler VOC profile, lacking some molecules peculiar to PVC films. The same conclusions can be drawn for cheeses wrapped in the PE cling-film. Other VOCs found in wrapped cheeses were likely to have been released either by direct transfer from the materials used for the manufacture of cling-films or from contamination of the films. Overall, HS-SPME is shown to be a rapid and solvent free technique to screen the VOCs profile of cling-films, and to detect VOCs migration from cling-films to cheese under real retail storage conditions.