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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314662

Title: Antibacterial poly(lactic acid) (PLA) films grafting electrospun PLA/Ally isothioscyanate (AITC) fibers for food packaging

item KARA, HASAN - Bayburt University
item XIAO, FUGANG - Xuchang University
item Sarker, Majher
item Jin, Zhonglin
item SOUSA, ANA - The University Of Porto
item Liu, Cheng Kung
item Tomasula, Peggy
item Liu, Linshu

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2015
Publication Date: 5/8/2015
Publication URL:
Citation: Kara, H.H., Xiao, F., Sarker, M.I., Jin, Z.T., Sousa, A.M., Liu, C., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2015. Antibacterial poly(lactic acid) (PLA) films grafting electrospun PLA/Ally isothioscyanate (AITC) fibers for food packaging. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. DOI: 10.1002/APP.42475.

Interpretive Summary: Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) is an essential oil that can suppress or inhibit the growth of bacteria, and has been approved by the FDA for food applications. It has also been tested for food preservation by incorporation in food packaging materials. When coated on packaging material, the AITC is retained by the films for a short time and when mixed with packaging materials during manufacture, complete release of the AITC from the packaging cannot be achieved. In this study, AITC was co-dissolved with poly(lactic acid) (PLA), a biodegradable packaging material. The solution was then subjected to electrospinning, a technology for creating fibers on the micro or nanoscale, with the fibers deposited onto a PLA film resulting in an AITC/PLA submicron fibrous mat grafted on to the PLA film. AITC was able to distribute within the PLA fibers to ensure a longer retention time; while the huge surface area of the submicron fibers promises a complete release of the essential oil from the film. This research provides a new approach to making packaging materials incorporated with volatile bioactives for better food preservation.

Technical Abstract: Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers of submicron sizes encapsulating allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) (PfA) were made and electrospun onto the surfaces of PLA films (PfA-g-film). SEM examination confirmed that the fibers were grafted to the PLA film after the (PfA-g-film) underwent air blowing and water washing. The PfA-g-films retained the mechanical properties of PLA. The release of AITC from the fibers was temperature-dependent. At temperatures lower than 4 deg C the incorporated AITC remained within the fibers without losing activity; at room temperature, AITC released in a sustained manner over weeks. The release of AITC was also dependent on its initial concentration in the PLA electrospinning solution, samples with more AITC incorporated showed a higher release rate. PfA-g-films significantly inhibited the growth of Listeria innocua and E. coli k12 when tested on packaged foods.