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Comprehensive study of the effects of formulation and processing parameters on structural and functional properties of active bio-based packaging films

Abstract : The aim of this study is the analysis of structure and transfer mechanisms through chitosan based food packaging materials with incorporated carvacrol as a model of antimicrobial active substance. Integration of composition parameters, structure, processing and drying of chitosan systems is correlated to its physico chemical and functional properties. Understanding and detailed analyses of processing parameters is crucial in production of active chitosan coatings applied on conventional materials such as polyethylene. So, the knowledge of composition and microstructure in association to environmental conditions, control the retention and the release kinetics of carvacrol from chitosan film. Water vapour was crucial parameter that strongly influenced adsorption, swelling and plasticization of chitosan based films, as well as thermal, surface and mechanical properties. By changing the matrix structure, penetrating water molecules decreased gas barrier efficiency and increased release of carvacrol. Furthermore, release of carvacrol in the headspace was correlated to the antimicrobial efficiency and to the organoleptic impact on packed food products. Such investigation highlights the transfer mechanism within bio-based materials, prior to efficiency prediction for their industrial development.In dry conditions, all chitosan films were fairly good gas barriers (about 10 17 g/m∙s∙Pa). Chitosan coated polyethylene films were up to 10000 times less permeable than uncoated PE. Increase in the environmental humidity above 60% and up to 96% (that represents the conditions of a real fresh food packaging system), significantly increased gas permeability of all chitosan films. Mechanical tests confirmed that when relative humidity increased, structural changes were induced. Therefore, extensive water plasticization of chitosan matrix was observed.Diffusion coefficients of carvacrol from chitosan film increased up to 1000 times when humidity increased from 0% to 100%. Water vapour triggers the release of carvacrol in the vapour phase. This indicates the importance of controlling the environmental conditions in the packaging at the time of the application but also during the active film storage.Films with carvacrol concentrations in the vapour phase above 2x10-7 g/mLair were efficient against large spectrum of bacteria, including some Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria and fungi. In some instances the concentration that was required for carvacrol antimicrobial efficiency was not organoleptically acceptable to consumers.
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Mia Kurek. Comprehensive study of the effects of formulation and processing parameters on structural and functional properties of active bio-based packaging films. Other. Université de Bourgogne; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012DIJOS095⟩. ⟨tel-01624565⟩

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