EFFECTIVENESS OF CHITOSAN AS ANTIMICROBIAL AGENT IN LDPE/CS COMPOSITE FILMS AS MINCED POULTRY MEAT PACKAGING MATERIALS
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Low density polyethylene (LDPE)/chitosan (CS) composites and stratified composites have been tested for minced poultry meat packaging according to well-known standard methods used in food industry. It has been established that the composites containing 3-6 wt% CS or nanocomposites containing chitosan/nanoclay and 0.5 wt% vitamin E show superior properties (with respect to appearance, smell, bouillon after boiling and sedimentation, pH, reaction with H2S and total number of germs), compared with commercially available foils, when applied to meat products. It was found that the number of germs decreased for meat packed in the obtained compositions by 104-105 times. The best values have been obtained with stratified composites obtained by covalent bonding and covered with chitosan by electrospraying. The major characteristics of the LDPE foils, such as rheological behaviour, variation in crystallinity and permeability by treatment with chitosan and vitamin E, were studied, as they are important for packaging applications. The sensory methods, XRD, rheological and oxygen transmission rate analyses proved that the films accomplished all the requirements for minced poultry meat packaging.