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Performance evaluation of a novel food packaging material based on clay/polyvinyl alcohol nanocomposite

Huang, Jen-Yi, Limqueco, Janelle, Chieng, Yu Yuan, Li, Xu, Zhou, Weibiao
Innovative food science & emerging technologies 2017 v.43 pp. 216-222
ascorbic acid, clay, discoloration, films (materials), food industry, food packaging, food preservation, humidity, lycopene, models, monitoring, montmorillonite, nanocomposites, novel foods, oxidation, oxygen, packaging materials, permeability, polyvinyl alcohol, pouches, shelf life, storage conditions, temperature, tomato paste
The effectiveness of a novel, laminated clay/polyvinyl alcohol nanocomposite food-packaging film was examined by barrier analysis and food shelf-life monitoring. The effect of storage conditions on the film's oxygen permeability was studied and compared to commercial LLDPE/PET film as control. Additionally, pouches of 14cm×10.5cm prepared from both films were filled with tomato paste as the food model, and stored at different temperatures (20–50°C) and humidities (20–85% RH) for 10days. Incorporating a coating layer containing 30wt% (d.b.) of clay into polymer was found to improve its barrier properties, with drastic reduction of oxygen transmission rates (OTR) up to 99%, especially at 20% RH. While surrounding humidity affected the OTR of composite film significantly more than that of control film, the OTR of composite film was lower and less susceptible to temperature changes. The changes of food physical-chemical properties with time showed that the pouches of composite film significantly decreased ascorbic acid and lycopene oxidation of tomato paste by up to 88 and 37%, respectively. Furthermore, no discolouration occurred to the samples packaged by the nanocomposite film as compared to the control.Industrial relevanceA novel clay/polyvinyl alcohol nanocomposite film was developed with excellent barrier properties against oxygen. Evaluation of the performance of this food-packaging film indicated that incorporation of montmorillonite enhanced food preservation as suggested by decreased ascorbic acid and lycopene oxidation, and no discolouration of tomato paste. This new approach could be adopted by the food industry to assist commercial producers and retailers for preserving and extending the shelf-life of a variety of food products.