Exopolysaccharide riclin and anthocyanin-based composite colorimetric indicator film for food freshness monitoring.Carbohydr Polym. 2023 Aug 15; 314:120882.CP
Food freshness monitoring is vital to ensure food safety. Recently, packaging materials incorporating pH-sensitive films have been employed to monitor the freshness of food products in real time. The film-forming matrix of the pH-sensitive film is essential to maintain the desired physicochemical functions of the packaging. Conventional film-forming matrices, such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), have drawbacks of low water resistance, poor mechanical properties, and weak antioxidant ability. In this study, we successfully synthesise PVA/riclin (P/R) biodegradable polymer films to overcome these limitations. The films feature riclin, an agrobacterium-derived exopolysaccharide. The uniformly dispersed riclin conferred outstanding antioxidant activity to the PVA film and significantly improved its tensile strength and barrier properties by forming hydrogen bonds. Purple sweet potato anthocyanin (PSPA) was used as a pH indicator. The intelligent film with added PSPA provided robust surveillance of volatile ammonia and changed its color within 30 s in the pH range of 2-12. This multifunctional colorimetric film also engendered discernible color changes when the quality of shrimp deteriorated, demonstrating its great potential as an intelligent packaging material to monitor food freshness.