Organic acids: Usage and potential in antimicrobial packaging
Organic acids, which are mostly common intermediates in living organisms, possess comprehensive antimicrobial potential. Due to their traditional use as preservative agents for food applications and their approval by European legislation, they are predestined to be used in antimicrobial food packaging materials. Substantial efforts have been made to incorporate selected organic acids into packaging materials in order to prolong shelf life and increase microbial food safety. Concerning the incorporation of organic acids into the packaging material, various technical approaches such as extrusion, casting, and coating have been reported. This chapter will elucidate background information on organic acids regarding chemical properties, antimicrobial mechanisms, toxicity, and the current legislative situation in the European Union and review scientific publications depicting the development of organic acid-based antimicrobial food packaging systems. Test methods and application trials will also be collated. Therefore, this chapter ought to support the research and development of organic acid-based antimicrobial packaging materials for food applications.