Investigating the microbial properties of sodium alginate/chitosan edible film containing red beetroot anthocyanin extract for smart packaging in chicken fillet as a pH indicator

Heliyon. 2023 Aug 5;9(8):e18879. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e18879. eCollection 2023 Aug.


The current trend in the production of smart films involves the use of pH-responsive color indicators derived from natural sources. In line with this trend, the aim of this research is to produce edible films from sodium alginate (A) and chitosan (Ch) incorporating red beet anthocyanin (Ac) extract, and to assess the properties of these films and their use as coatings for chicken fillets. The study employed a factorial design to evaluate the effects of treatments C (control), A25%-ch75% (films consisting of 25% sodium alginate and 75% chitosan), and A25%-ch75%-Ac (films consisting of 25% sodium alginate, 75% chitosan, and red beet anthocyanin). The findings indicate that the inclusion of red beet anthocyanin extract did not result in any discernible differences in the FTIR spectra of the film samples. Analysis of the XRD results revealed that the addition of the extract led to a reduction in the crystal structure of the film. Moreover, SEM results demonstrated that the extract caused alterations in the polymer chains and an increase in the porosity of the film matrix. With regard to the chicken fillet samples coated with the film, over time, there was an increase in microbial analysis (total microorganism count and Staphylococcus aureus coagulase-positive) and chemical properties (pH, peroxide, thiobarbituric acid, and nitrogen compounds) for all samples. However, this trend was significantly lower in the samples coated with the Ac extract (P < 0.05). Texture analysis results revealed that the hardness parameter of all samples decreased over the storage period, while the samples containing the Ac extract demonstrated a significant increase in this parameter (P < 0.05). Additionally, the color changes of the pH sensor corresponded to the anthocyanin structure. Based on the results, the smart film composed of sodium alginate/chitosan incorporating red beet anthocyanin extract has the potential to enhance the quality, prolong the shelf life, and decrease the microbial load of chicken fillet when used as a coating. Furthermore, red beet anthocyanin can serve as a suitable indicator for spoilage changes in packaged food products.

Keywords: Anthocyanin; Chicken fillet; Microbial load; Smart packaging; pH sensor.