A group of researchers from Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai has developed a new eco-friendly food-packaging material using mango peel extracts and three other biodegradable polymers to extend the shelf-life of chicken. The packaging film showed good antimicrobial properties against common food microbes and also exhibited high antioxidant characteristics.
Peels from four different mango varieties were used for the study — Alphonso, Kesar, Langra and Badami. The peel content was extracted using different techniques and the bioactive properties, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the extracts were studied.
Amongst the four mango peel varieties studied, the Langra variety extract exhibited the highest inhibition against Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas fluorescens. It was also rich in bioactive compounds like phenolics and carotenoids and thus had high degree of antioxidant capacity.
The packaging films were then made using the Langra extract (5%), polyvinyl alcohol, gelatin and cyclodextrin. Meat wrapped up with this film was stored at 2–4˚C and tested every three days. The meat packed using the mango peel film was able to keep the meat fresh and without spoilage for up to 12 days whereas the ones packed in normal polythene bag got spoilt within three days.