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Stabilized nanosilver based antimicrobial poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) nanocomposites of interest in active food packaging

Castro-Mayorga, J.L., Fabra, M.J., Lagaron, J.M.
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2016 v.33 pp. 524-533
Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, additives, antibacterial properties, antimicrobial packaging, biodegradability, byproducts, food contact surfaces, food packaging, food pathogens, foods, melting, mixing, nanocomposites, nanosilver, optical properties, oxygen, packaging materials, permeability, polymers, silver, thermal stability
Antimicrobial silver based nanocomposites of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) were successfully synthesized and characterized. For the synthesis, a masterbatch of in situ stabilized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) produced into a mixed microbial cultures based poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-18mol%-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV18) was used, which was diluted by melt compounding with a commercial poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3mol%-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV3) material. The incorporated AgNPs (0.04wt.%) led to a surprising oxygen permeability drop of ca. 56% compared to the neat polymer. The thermal stability and optical properties of the nanocomposites were not significantly modified as compared to the neat PHBV3. Moreover, the antimicrobial performance of the PHBVs-AgNPs films against two of the most common food borne pathogens, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes, showed a strong and sustained (even after seven-months) antibacterial activity. This study provides an innovative route to generate fully renewable and biodegradable antimicrobial nanocomposites that could potentially be of interest in film and coating applications such as active food packaging.As a response to the consumers for more safety foodstuffs and ecofriendly packaging materials, this work presents a novel methodology to develop antimicrobial packaging by using biodegradable materials obtained from industrial food by-products in combination of an industrially meaningful melt blending process. The methodology here applied allows the use of low doses of stabilized silver nanoparticles in the polymer matrix, without additives, which exhibits prolonged antimicrobial activity against food borne pathogens and enhanced oxygen barrier properties. These materials are of great interest in the development and design of biodegradable active food packaging materials and antibacterial food contact surfaces with the additional advantage that they can be easily scale-up.