Wednesday, August 18
Transparent, high-barrier cellulose-based bioplastics with naringin as food packaging materials
Wednesday, August 18
2:05 pm - 2:20 pm


Since the middle of the 20th century, the extensive use of petroleum-based plastics has led to a rapid development of such materials. Food packaging is the most plastic consumer sector. However, common plastics are non-biodegradable and have an important environmental impact. As a sustainable alternative, bio-based plastics, commonly named bioplastics, are currently preferred in many fields. In this regard, cellulose is the most abundant plant polymer and is considered an inexhaustible source of raw materials. On the other hand, naringin is a natural flavonoid, largely described for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, all of them of high interest for food packaging applications.

In this work, we present a simple method to produce bioplastics from cellulose and naringin for active food packaging. In particular, we report the preparation of such bioplastics using a mixture (2:1, v:v) of trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and trifluoroacetic acid anhydride (TFAA) as a common solvent. Both water and oxygen permeability showed a drastic decrease by incorporating naringin with values close to those of man-made plastics. In addition, completely transparent bioplastics were obtained. Indeed, all naringin-containing films presented UV-A and UV-B blocking effect, with UV protection factors up to 100 for some of them. Mechanical tests were also performed, showing a plastification of the films with higher concentrations of naringin. Cell availability was also assessed. Finally, the samples showed a good biodegradation in seawater for a period of 30 days characterized by high values of biological oxygen demand.

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