Incorporation of gelatin and Fe2+ increases the pH-sensitivity of zein-anthocyanin complex films used for milk spoilage detection.Curr Res Food Sci. 2022; 5:677-686.CR
In this study, blueberry anthocyanins, gelatin and Fe2+ were incorporated into zein matrix via electrospinning method to prepare colorimetric indicator films for monitoring milk freshness. Gelatin and Fe2+ were incorporated into the film to improve visual discrimination of indicator films' color changes in milk with different freshness degrees and in solution with pH 3-7. Results of SEM, FT-IR and XRD showed that there were intermolecular hydrogen bonds among components, which associated with the larger color difference of indicator films. UV-vis spectral analysis showed that blueberry anthocyanin solutions containing both gelatin and Fe2+ displayed the highest intensity absorption peaks. The optimal ability to distinguish the pH (3-7) of solutions was presented by the indicator film incorporating gelatin (1% (w/v)) and Fe2+ (0.07 mg/mL). Gelatin and Fe2+ increased the color-responsive sensitivity of the indicator film to pH. The film could be successfully used to detect the freshness of milk, whose color changes were visually perceivable: from purple black (fresh milk) to royal purple (spoiling milk) and then to violet red (spoiled milk). The color parameters (L*, a*, R, G and B) of the film revealed a high correlation with the pH/acidity of the milk during storage. The successful application of the indicator film embedding gelatin and Fe2+ for monitoring milk quality changes indicated that the addition of special substances could provide great potential for monitoring freshness and preparing intelligent packaging of food.