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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331284

Research Project: Umbrella Project for Food Safety

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Transparent bionanocomposite films based on chitosan and tempo-oxidized cellulose nanofibers with enhanced mechanical and barrier properties

item SONI, BHAWNA - Mississippi State University
item HASSAN, EL BARBARY - Mississippi State University
item SCHILLING, WES - Mississippi State University
item MAHMOUD, BARAKAT - Mississippi State University

Submitted to: Carbohydrate Polymers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Soni, B., Hassan, E., Schilling, W., Mahmoud, B. 2016. Transparent bionanocomposite films based on chitosan and tempo-oxidized cellulose nanofibers with enhanced mechanical and barrier properties. Carbohydrate Polymers. 151:779-789.

Interpretive Summary: TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers were introduced into a chitosan matrix using an environmentally friendly casting method to prepare biodegradable nanocomposite films. Higher crystallinity of TEMPO-CNFs and the dense composite structure of the produced films leads to a film that has reduced moisture and oxygen transmission properties. The produced nanocomposite films possessed higher thermal stability, mechanical properties, transparency and flexibility when compared to 100% chitosan films. SEM and AFM images indicated that nano-sized TEMPO-CNFs were completely embedded in the chitosan matrix. Results from this study indicated that incorporation of TEMPO-CNFs into a chitosan matrix was a feasible, green, and effective method for application in transparent biodegradable packaging that can be used for food products.

Technical Abstract: The development of biobased active films for use in food packaging is increasing due to low cost, environmental appeal, renewability and availability. The objective of this research was to develop an effective and complete green approach for the production of bionanocomposite films with enhanced mechanical and barrier properties. This was accomplished by incorporating TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical) into a chitosan matrix. An aqueous suspension of chitosan (100-75 wt %), sorbitol (25 wt %) and TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TEMPO-CNFs, 0-25 wt %) were cast in an oven at 40 °C for 2-4 days. Films were preconditioned at 25°C and 50% RH for characterization. The surface morphology of the films was revealed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The thermal properties and crystal structure of the films were evaluated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA-DTG) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Incorporation of TEMPO-CNFs enhanced the mechanical strength of the films due to the high aspect ratio (3-20 nm width, and 10-100 nm length) of TEMPO-CNFs and strong interactions with the chitosan matrix. Oxygen and water vapor transmission rates for films that are prepared with chitosan and TEMPO-CNFs (15-25 wt %) were significantly reduced. Furthermore, these bionanocomposite films had good thermal stability. Use of TEMPO-CNFs in this method makes it possible to produce bionanocomposite films that are flexible, transparent, and thus have potential in food packaging applications.