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Sanchez-Garcia M.D.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Hoa S.V.,Concordia University at Montreal
Composites Science and Technology | Year: 2010

This paper presents the properties of nano-bio-composites of solvent cast polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) and polycaprolactone (PCL) containing carbon nanofiber or carbon nanotubes as a function of filler content. It is found that carbon nanotubes and nanofibers can be used to enhance the conductivity, thermal, mechanical and to enhance gas barrier properties of thermoplastic biopolyesters. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Busolo M.A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Busolo M.A.,NanoBioMatters R and D S.L. | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies | Year: 2012

A synthetic iron containing kaolinite was evaluated as an oxygen scavenger additive for food packaging plastics having an active performance of ca. 43 ml O2/g at 100%RH and of ca. 37 ml O2/g of additive at 50%RH. The corresponding polyolefin films containing 10 wt.% of the active filler also exhibited significant oxygen scavenger activity (up to 4.3 ml of oxygen/g composite, at 24°C and 100%RH). The effect of oxygen scavenging capacity of HDPE films with temperature and %RH was also assessed. The oxygen permeability tests carried out after inactivation of the additive suggested that the iron containing clay plays in fact a dual oxygen fighting role: active performance (trapping and reacting with molecular oxygen) as well as a passive barrier performance (imposing a more tortuous diffusion path to the permeant). Migration tests into two food simulants indicated that iron (from active ingredient) and aluminum (from clay migration) are hardly detectable in commonly used simulants. This study suggests that there is significant potential for the use of this novel oxygen scavenger additive to constitute active packaging of value in the shelf-life extension of oxygen sensitive food products. Industrial relevance: Oxygen penetration in food and beverages leads to, for instance, oxidative rancidity of unsaturated fats, loss of vitamin C, browning of fresh meat, oxidation of aromatic flavor oils and pigments and fostering the growth of aerobic spoilage microorganisms. These undesirable effects on the product quality indicate that the elimination or exclusion of oxygen is one of the main targets for preserving foods and beverages in the food packaging industry. The industrial relevance of this study is very significant because it proves that the technology generated and characterized in the paper can uniquely fight oxygen by two means, i.e active and passive performance. This should enable the food packaging industry to package foods in relatively inexpensive, low barrier commodity plastic materials such as polyolefins, that will allow the shelf-life extension of the packaged products with a safe use, since migration of the components is negligible. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2011

Recent years have witnessed a tremendous expansion of research and technology developments in the nanotechnology field resulting in significant application developments in the food and agricultural areas. This is particularly the case of the food packaging field, where significant advances in the nanoreinforcement of biobased materials provide a more solid ground towards increasing the technical and economical competitiveness of renewable polymers for different applications. However, there is still a long way to go, not only in the materials development and energy consumption minimization parcels, but also regarding the widespread commercialization of these novel nanostructured biopolymers and the full characterization of any particular potential toxicological and environmental impacts. In this paper, the current situation of these novel nanobiostructured packaging materials is described, together with the global challenges to be faced and the possible strategies to overcome some of the pending issues in this exciting and potentially world changing research and development area. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Sanchez-Garcia M.D.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Cellulose | Year: 2010

Polylactic acid (PLA) nanocomposites were prepared using cellulose nanowhiskers (CNW) as a reinforcing element in order to asses the value of this filler to reduce the gas and vapour permeability of the biopolyester matrix. The nanocomposites were prepared by incorporating 1, 2, 3 and 5 wt% of the CNW into the PLA matrix by a chloroform solution casting method. The morphology, thermal and mechanical behaviour and permeability of the films were investigated. The CNW prepared by acid hydrolysis of highly purified alpha cellulose microfibers, resulted in nanofibers of 60-160 nm in length and of 10-20 nm in thickness. The results indicated that the nanofiller was well dispersed in the PLA matrix, did not impair the thermal stability of this but induced the formation of some crystallinity, most likely transcrystallinity. CNW prepared by freeze drying exhibited in the nanocomposites better morphology and properties than their solvent exchanged counterparts. Interestingly, the water permeability of nanocomposites of PLA decreased with the addition of CNW prepared by freeze drying by up to 82% and the oxygen permeability by up to 90%. Optimum barrier enhancement was found for composites containing loadings of CNW below 3 wt%. Typical modelling of barrier and mechanical properties failed to describe the behaviour of the composites and appropriate discussion regarding this aspect was also carried out. From the results, CNW exhibit novel significant potential in coatings, membranes and food agrobased packaging applications. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Food Chemistry | Year: 2011

In this paper, a novel method for the incorporation of the antioxidant β-carotene in hydrocolloid matrices is presented, which consists on the use of glycerol as the vehicle for incorporation. This alcohol has been observed to greatly photostabilise the carotenoid molecule within the hydrocolloid matrices without greatly affecting the mechanical properties of the materials. The UV stability of β-carotene in the different hydrocolloid films developed (including starch, soy protein, whey protein concentrate, gelatin and zein) has been studied using UV/visible spectrophotometry, colorimetry and Raman spectroscopy. Raman images of the materials were also generated in order to ascertain the dispersion of the antioxidant within the hydrocolloid materials and it was observed that β-carotene was partially agglomerated in certain areas of the film, fact that could also contribute to enhance the stability of the bioactive molecule. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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