Edible Films and Coatings Functionalization by Probiotic Incorporation: A Review
Edible coatings and films represent an alternative packaging system characterized by being more environment- and customer-friendly than conventional systems of food protection. Research on edible coatings requires multidisciplinary efforts by food engineers, biopolymer specialists and biotechnologists. Entrapment of probiotic cells in edible films or coatings is a favorable approach that may overcome the limitations linked with the use of bioactive compounds in or on food products. The recognition of several health advantages associated with probiotics ingestion is worldwide accepted and well documented. Nevertheless, due to the low stability of probiotics in the food processing steps, in the food matrices and in the gastrointestinal tract, this kind of encapsulation is of high relevance. The development of new and functional edible packaging may lead to new functional foods. This review will focus on edible coatings and films containing probiotic cells (obtaining techniques, materials, characteristics, and applications) and the innovative entrapment techniques use to obtained such packaging.