They also noted that the tomato skins did not suffer wrinkling that had been reported in previous studies using chlorine dioxide gas with other exposure methods.
Chlorine dioxide is a “well-established antimicrobial agent,” the researchers wrote, and has been used in gas and liquid forms. However, the gas-producing film would provide better pathogen reduction.
“The (chlorine dioxide-releasing) packaging provides advantages over the current ClO2 washing practice by avoiding possible cross-contamination or recontamination of foods after packaging and before consumption,” the scientists wrote.
The antimicrobial packaging could be used for other fresh produce that generate moisture inside a package.
“By adjusting PLA percentage … (a) different quantity of ClO2 released from the film could be achieved for different kinds of fresh produce. The application could also be extended to non-moisture-generated foods, when a drop of water is injected into the package to activate ClO2 release.”