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Physical and mechanical testing of essential oil-embedded cellulose ester films

do Socorro Rocha Bastos, Maria, da Silva Laurentino, Larissa, Canuto, Kirley Marques, Mendes, Luana Guabiraba, Martins, Camila Mota, Silva, Sarah Maria Frota, Furtado, Roselayne Ferro, Kim, Sanghoon, Biswas, Atanu, Cheng, H. N.
Polymer testing 2016 v.49 pp. 156-161
Cymbopogon, Lippia, Ocimum gratissimum, air, basil, butyrates, cellulose, cellulose acetate, essential oils, films (materials), food packaging, hydrophobicity, microscopy, modulus of elasticity, oils, pepper, permeability, plasticizers, polymers, propionic acid, rosemary, tensile strength, thermal properties, water vapor
Polymer films made from cellulose esters are useful for embedding plant essential oils, either for food packaging or air freshener applications. Studies and testing were done on the physical and mechanical properties of cellulose ester-based films incorporating essential oils (EO) from lemongrass (Cybopogon citratus), rosemary pepper (Lippia sidoides), and basil (Ocimum gratissimum) at concentrations of 10 and 20% (v/w). Results obtained showed that, in all films, the addition of the essential oil caused a decrease in the water vapor permeability due to the hydrophobic nature of the oil. The use of 20% of EO caused lower transparency of the films, although the change was not observed visually. Mechanical testing was done on cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate propionate and cellulose acetate butyrate. It was found that incorporation of lemongrass, basil and rosemary pepper EO significantly affected the Young’s modulus, tensile strength and elongation at break of the cellulose ester films. The results suggested that the EO interacted with the polymers like plasticizers. The results were confirmed with thermal and microscopic studies.