The use of surface treatments based on UV-light exposure of ready-to-eat foods, having both plant and animal origin, is proposed to reach the following goals:
- decontamination of microbial population;
- inactivation of alterative enzymes;
- reduction of allergenic impact;
- increase of moisture retention;
- development of self-assembling edible films.
UV light exposure was actually shown not only to lead to the surface disinfection of both pathogenic and alterative microorganisms but also to significantly inactivate oxidative and pectolytic enzymes responsible for product spoilage. In addition, it is possible to exploit the UV light ability to modify biopolymer structure in order to control the allergenic properties of proteins and allow the formation of thin edible films, not perceivable by the consumer, but contributing to the overall maintenance of food freshness.