Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2008
Publication Date: 6/28/2008
Citation: Netramai, S., Rubino, M., Auras, R., Annous, B.A. 2008. The effect of chlorine dioxide on polymeric packaging materials. [abstract]. Institute of Food Technologists. p.1. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Chlorine dioxide (ClO2), with its high oxidizing capacity and broad disinfecting property, is used frequently as a disinfectant in many applications. As a biocide in food applications, it showed a microbial inactivating capacity against many important pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, located on the surface of food products. Chlorine dioxide in its gaseous form was utilized in numerous studies for vapor-phase decontamination, both in treating the produces before packaging, and sanitizing the products inside their packages. Yet, very little is known about its effects on the packaging material properties, and performances. In our study on mass transfer of ClO2, the permeability, solubility and diffusion coefficients of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) for 10 types of polymeric packaging materials are being determined through an isostatic method using a developed continuous system for measuring ClO2 concentration with electrochemical sensor as a detector. The study showed that PET, PLA, PP, nylon, and multilayer of EVA and EVOH, EVA/EVOH/EVA has high ClO2 barrier, while PS LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE, PVC demonstrated poor barrier characteristics to ClO2. The effects of gaseous ClO2 on physical and mechanical properties of polymeric packaging materials, as well as the FT-IR spectroscopy, are also being determined by exposing the selected materials to ClO2 for 1, 7 and 14 days. Many changes have been observed, such as significant decrease in tensile strength and modulus of elasticity of the treated PE samples, and the changes in absorbance intensity of IR spectra of PS, PET, PLA and EVA/EVOH/EVA, indicating the alterations in the chemical properties of the materials. These findings indicate the changes in the polymers’ performances as packaging, which could affect the product’s shelf-life. The outcomes generated by this study will provide the information necessary for selecting suitable materials when ClO2 gas is considered as a bactericide to be used part of the packaging system to improve fresh produce safety and prolong their shelf life.