Biobased ternary films of thermoplastic starch, bacterial nanocellulose and gallic acid for active food packaging


The use of active packaging technologies and biopolymeric materials are among the emerging trends for implementation of sustainability in the food packaging industry. Thus, herein, bioactive transparent nanocomposite films of thermoplastic starch (TPS) reinforced with bacterial nanocellulose (BNC) (1%, 5% and 10% w/w, relative to starch) and enriched with gallic acid (GA) (1 and 1.5% w/w, relative to starch) were prepared by the solvent casting method. The addition of BNC (≥5% w/w) and GA (1 and 1.5% w/w) enhanced both the mechanical properties (Young's Modulus: 1.2–2.0 GPa vs. 1.0 GPa for TPS; tensile strength: 23–39 MPa vs. 20 MPa for TPS) and the water resistance (moisture absorption and solubility in water) of the nanocomposites. All films are thermally stable up to 125 °C. It was also found that the addition of GA imparted the hydrocolloid TPS-BNC nanocomposites with UV-blocking properties and antioxidant activity (DPPH scavenging activity above 80%). In addition, the film with 10% w/w of BNC nanofibers and 1% w/w of GA had good oxygen barrier properties with a coefficient of permeability of 0.91 ± 0.12 cm3 μm m−2 d−1 kPa−1 and antibacterial activity against the gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (reduction of about 4.5 log10 colony forming units (CFU) mL−1 after 48 h). This is the first time that antibacterial activity is reported for TPS-BNC nanocomposites. The film with 10% w/w of BNC nanofibers and 1% w/w of GA was further demonstrated to have the ability of delaying the browning and weight loss of packaged fresh cut apple stored at +4 °C for 7 days. All these outcomes are of great relevance for the packaging sector, thus attesting the potential of the developed TPS-BNC-GA nanocomposites as sustainable and eco-friendly film materials for active food packaging.


Tânia Almeida, Anna Karamysheva, Bruno F. A. Valente, José M. Silva, Márcia Braz, Adelaide Almeida, Armando J. D. Silvestre, Carla Vilela, Carmen S. R. Freire

our authors


This work was carried out under the Project inpactus – innovative products and technologies from eucalyptus, Project N° 21874 funded by Portugal 2020 through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in the frame of COMPETE 2020 n°246/AXIS II/2017, project CICECO – Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 & LA/P/0006/2020, and project CESAM, UIDP/50017/2020 and UIDB/50017/2020 and LA/P/0094/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC). FCT is also acknowledged for the research contracts under Scientific Employment Stimulus to C.V. (CEECIND/00263/2018 and 2021.01571. CEECIND) and C.S.R.F. (CEECIND/00464/2017).

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