Background: In the last decades, consumers have become more health conscious and
their demand for foods without synthetic preservatives has increased. The use of edible films as carriers
of natural antimicrobial agents provides a novel way to improve the safety and shelf-life of
ready-to-eat foods. These films can reduce surface microbial populations and reduce the need for
synthetic packaging materials. Edible films can be made from polysaccharides, proteins, lipids or a
combination of them.
Objective: For this purpose, different polymer combinations containing starch, sodium alginate,
poly(vinyl-alcohol) or whey protein at different ratios were studied and the mechanical properties
Methods and Results: All the films studied exhibited promising mechanical properties, with those
prepared using a combination of starch, sodium alginate, PVA and whey protein at a ratio of
(32/32/32/4) showing the highest Elongation at Break value. The selected film was incorporated
with myrtle berries hydro-alcoholic extract as a known source of many compounds which can be
used in both the food industry and for medical purposes, primarily as antimicrobial agents. The antioxidant
and antimicrobial properties of the prepared film were evaluated. Our results indicate that
the total phenolic content is 18.20 ± 2.56 mg GAE/g of dry weight correlated with IC50 OF 2.14 ±
0.12 mg/mL. Pronounced antibacterial activity was observed against both Staphylococcus aureus
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, whereas Escherichia coli was completely resistant.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the edible film containing myrtle berries hydro-alcoholic extract could
provide a new strategy to enhance microbial safety and shelf-life of foods.