To extend the shelf life of strawberries, researchers at Thailand's Thammasat University have incorporated cannabidiol (CBD), a non-hallucinogenic compound from cannabis, into an edible, antimicrobial coating that slows down the rotting process.
This is stated in a report published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces by the American Chemical Society. A possible new application of this cannabinoid.
CBD keeps fresh
Cannabidiol is popular for its potential therapeutic effects, but this cannabinoid also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In previous studies, it restricted the growth of some bacteria and disease-causing fungi, such as the fungi that cause fresh fruits and vegetables to rot.
However, the oily compound must be evenly distributed in water before it can be widely incorporated into foods or used for food preservation. One possible way to do this is by encapsulating the molecules in edible polymers. Researchers looked at whether a food coating made from CBD-filled nanoparticles could promote antimicrobial activity and extend the freshness of strawberries.
De researchers encapsulated CBD in polyglycolide, a biodegradable polymer used in drug delivery. They mixed the most stable nanoparticles, containing 20% CBD by mass, with sodium alginate in water. Strawberries were then dipped in solutions containing varying amounts of nanoparticles before a second dip in a mixture of ascorbic acid and calcium chloride to turn the colorless coating into a gel.
Untreated and treated strawberries were then placed in open plastic containers at refrigerator temperatures. After 15 days, the CBD-treated samples matured and rotted much more slowly than the untreated samples, possibly due to reduced microbial growth.
The coating with the most CBD-loaded nanoparticles retained the dark red color of the fruit, enhanced their antioxidant activity the most, and showed the greatest antimicrobial protection during storage. This suggests that this treatment leads to the longest shelf life. The researchers say their results show that encapsulated CBD can be used to create a colorless antimicrobial coating.
Source: packagingeurope.com (EN)