Postharvest losses are rampant due to lack of proper storage conditions and handling of the fresh food products. The perishable nature of fruits and vegetables makes their shelf life limited due to some extrinsic factors such as some environmental conditions and preservation conditions as well as some intrinsic factors such as respiration rate, ethylene production and transpiration. Among the other postharvest technologies available, edible coatings seems to be one novel method which has been verified to have a positive and safe approach to extending the shelf life of products. This type of packaging is made from various natural resources like polysaccharide, protein and lipid materials. Edible packaging materials can be divided into two main groups including edible coatings and edible films. It has so many benefits such as serving as a moisture barrier, oxygen scavenger, ethylene scavenger, antimicrobial properties among others. Different methods of application of the edible coating on the food materials include; dipping, spraying, brushing, layer by layer among others. There have been several verifications of the positive impact of edible coatings/films on pome fruits, Citrus fruits, Stone fruits, tropical and exotic fruits, berries, melon, tomatoes and others.
Part of the book: Postharvest Technology