Monique Lacroix is a Professor and Director of the Research Laboratories in Sciences, Applied to Food and of the Canadian Irradiation Centre, at INRS, Armand-Frappier Health & Biotechnology Centre. She is Fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology.
Prof. Lacroix is a distinguished member of numerous national and international scientific societies and expert committees such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Her research program focuses on using irradiation to assure food security and sustainability, to reduce food loss and waste, and food packaging waste. Her works respond to consumer demands to replace chemical additives with natural antimicrobial extracts while preserving the nutritional value, assuring the safety and long shelf life of foods. Her contributions include the integration of structure, chemistry and function of natural extracts and food composition for the development of efficient antimicrobial edible coatings; the incorporation of nanotechnology for the development of new method of encapsulation to improve the efficiency and to assure a controlled release of the immobilized natural extracts; the advancement of irradiation and non-thermal technologies in combination with natural extracts for the development of unique methods of preserving food; the combined use of green chemistry and physical treatment and valorisation of industrial sub-products for the development of nano – biomaterials and insoluble food packaging and active films.
Active natural polymers and new combined treatments with irradiation
Packaging or edible coating based on natural polymers containing plant-extract play an important role in food industry. When encapsulation under nanoscale, their bioactivity can be enhanced, thereby enabling the reduction of the doses required to ensure the biological activity. Combining irradiation with active natural polymers can increase microbial radiosensitivity and reduce the dose of individual treatment while maintaining the quality and safety of the food product.Radiation treatment can also serve as a tool for crosslinking, surface grafting and for reactive compatibilization of natural polymers. In this presentation I will present a summary of the different opportunities that irradiation can bring for the development of active polymers or new combined treatments to assure food safety.