Chlorine dioxide in α-cyclodextrin as food preservative

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Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is an effective antimicrobial capable of inhibiting viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores. It is a green-yellow gas under ambient condition and readily soluble in water, making it possible to be applied as a washing antimicrobial solution for industrial practice. In recent years, gaseous ClO2 has gained increasing interest because research showed that it could be more effective than liquid washing application to control the microorganisms residing in the hard to reach areas of food products. Due to its explosiveness, reactivity, and corrosiveness, ClO2 is not stored as it is, but normally generated on-site from its stabilized form. Thus, stabilization and delivery of gaseous ClO2 have become a major research focus.

Results showed that high ClO2 loading was achieved using appropriate ClO2/α-cyclodextrin ratio. Characterization analyses showed that α-cyclodextrin was oxidized by ClO2 and agglomerated into larger particles with modified crystallinity. The photo on the ClO2/α-cyclodextrin crystals is shown in the featured image above.

The retention of ClO2 at −20 °C was stable for at least 3 months. The release of ClO2 followed an anomalous transport process in which diffusion played an important role. The release rate was relatively slow compared to some ClO2 releasing systems reported in the literature, suggesting this inclusion complex had potential for applications requiring an extended releasing period.

M. Chen, X. Chen, K Yam: Encapsulation complex of chlorine dioxide in α-cyclodextrin: Structure characterization and release property. Food Control 107, January 2020, 106783.

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