Active films for food packaging materials

A new work describes the development of chitosan/poly (vinyl alcohol) active films reinforced with curcumin functionalised layered double hydroxides towards food packaging.

Curcumin (CUR) is a kind of small molecule polyphenol extracted from the root and stem of turmeric. Image source: jwvein - Pixabay (symbol image).

Biodegradable active packaging materials have drawn wide attention which can overcome the serious environmental and food safety problems caused by traditional synthetic materials. In a new study, researchers have reported developing two-component, chitosan (CS) and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) based films reinforced with curcumin functionalised layered double hydroxides (LDHs@CUR) via solvent casting method. The results showed that CUR was successfully loaded on the LDHs surface, and the thickness of the functional layer was 5 nm. The infrared and thermal analysis revealed that there was a strong interaction between LDHs@CUR and CS/PVA matrix, which was responsible for the enhancement of water resistance and mechanical properties.

Food packaging materials

When the amount of LDHs@CUR reached 7 wt%, UV barrier properties (at 280 nm) and antioxidant activity of LDHs@CUR/CS/PVA active films were improved by 80.6 % and 49.2 % compared with CS/PVA matrix, respectively. The tensile strength of LDHs@CUR/CS/PVA active films reached a maximum of 60.7 MPa, an increase of 43.8 % compared with CS/PVA matrix, which was attributed to the internal interface interaction and increased crystallinity. These results indicated that the benefits of incorporation for LDHs@CUR into the active CS/PVA matrix and the potential application used as active films/inner coatings to develop food packaging materials.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 182, September 2023.

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