Development of nanofibrous membranes for enzymatic food processing
The main object of this work is to prepare nanofibrous membranes (NFM) for the development of novel Enzymatic Membrane Reactors (EMRs) to be used in food processing. EMRs are systems where a biochemical conversion occurs inside a compact and flexible membrane. Such membranes are of special interest in food processing as they can be used for a number of applications in food industries such as: production of electrochemical sensor for the detection of glucose in energy drink and during the beer processing and hydrolysis of sucrose in glucose and fructose for taste control and for the production of inverted sugar. However, conventional membranes reactors suffer from a number of drawbacks such as low enzyme loading, limited stability, loss of the biocatitytic agent, just to cite a few. These problems preclude their use in food processing. Thus, our working hypothesis is improve the performance of traditional membrane reactors thanks to the use of nanofibrous membranes with higher surface to volume ratio and higher surface availability. The second part show other different applications of the nanofibrous membrane (NFM) in the food processing. Nanofibrous membranes, from Nylon 6, as used as a filter for bacteria and yeast suspension in water and beer. The results revealed that membranes are able to reduce the number of microorganisms in liquid food. The same NFM was also used for the adsorption of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) coming from coffee powder of six different geographical origin. The aroma of coffee in powder and after the adsorption on Nylon 6 NFM was used for the differential of the geographical origin of coffee. The last part of this work shows the successfully encapsulation and extension of the shelf-life of β-carotene when this bioactive compound was incorporated in PolyEthylene Oxide (PEO) nanofiber membrane.