Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group

Paterna, Spain

Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group

Paterna, Spain
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Busolo M.A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Busolo M.A.,NanoBioMatters RandD 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.


Martinez-Sanz M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2011

This work aims at examining the various factors that affect cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs) extraction from bacterial cellulose (BC). Specifically, the effect of sulfuric acid hydrolysis time and further treatments such as neutralization and dialysis on the properties of the obtained nanoparticles was studied. The morphology of BCNWs was examined by TEM, showing a decrease in the nanowhiskers' length when increasing hydrolysis time as expected. The XRD patterns of the different samples showed a crystalline structure characteristic of the cellulose I allomorph. From the calculated crystallinity indexes it was deduced that long hydrolysis times, such as 48 h, are required when intending to digest a significant fraction of amorphous material and thus, obtaining a significant increase in crystallinity by comparison with the native BC. Nevertheless, as a consequence of this extensive acid hydrolysis treatment, the thermal stability of the material is significantly decreased, making it unsuitable for most melt-compoundable polymer-based nanocomposites applications. On the other hand, neutralization produced a slight increase in the crystallinity index, and, most importantly, it led to a remarkable increase on the BCNWs thermal stability, as determined by TGA. Furthermore, it was found out that dialysis applied after neutralization did not present any additional improvement on the BCNWs' properties. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies | Year: 2012

In this work it is shown, for the first time, the potential of the electrospinning (in this case electrospraying) technique to generate whey protein concentrate (WPC) micro-, submicro- and nanocapsules for applications in the encapsulation of bioactives of interest in the development of novel functional foods. Furthermore, the solvent used for the development of the encapsulation morphologies was water, making these materials suitable for food applications. The WPC concentration for capsule formation was optimized and the effect of pH and addition of glycerol in the morphology and molecular organization of the capsules was studied. The results demonstrated that electrosprayed WPC capsules can be obtained for a wide pH range and for some glycerol concentrations and both factors had an effect on capsule size and conformation. Finally, the usefulness of the WPC capsules was demonstrated through the encapsulation of the antioxidant β-carotene. Industrial relevance: As a response to the industrial demand for novel encapsulation technologies that protect sensitive ingredients, we present here an electrospraying process, which does not require the use of high temperatures, to generate WPC capsules from aqueous solutions. Moreover, the use of WPC as an encapsulating matrix has barely been explored, although it has a great potential due to the excellent functional characteristics of this protein mixture and its low cost. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Martinez-Sanz M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2012

In the present study, property-enhanced polylactide (PLA) nanocomposites containing bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers (BCNW) were prepared by melt compounding. With the aim of improving the nanocrystals' dispersion in the final melt processed nanocomposites, these were preincorporated either into PLA nanostructured fibers by electrospinning or into an ethylene vinyl-alcohol copolymer (EVOH) by solution precipitation. An optimized dispersion of the nanofiller in the nanocomposites produced by applying these preincorporation methods, when compared to the direct melt mixing of the freeze-dried nanowhiskers with the polymeric matrix, was confirmed by morphological studies. Enhanced dispersion of BCNW was critical for enhancing the barrier and mechanical properties of the nanocomposites. Thus, for concentrations around the percolation threshold, that is, 2-3 wt % BCNW, nanocomposites produced by the electrospinning preincorporation method showed increased elastic modulus and tensile strength, preserving the ductility of the pure PLA. Moreover, in the optimized nanocomposites the water permeability of PLA was reduced by 43% and the oxygen barrier also decreased to a significant extent. This paper provides a successful route to solve the long-standing issue related to the dispersion of highly polar unmodified cellulose nanowhiskers into PLA via the industrially meaningful melt compounding processing. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Fabra M.J.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Food Hydrocolloids | Year: 2013

In this work, multilayer structures based on polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate with a valerate content of 12% (PHBV12) containing a high barrier interlayer of electrospun zein nanofibers were developed. It was observed that the method used for the preparation of the outer PHBV12 layers affected their functional properties, since mechanical resistance increased and water vapour permeability and transparency decreased in the multilayer containing outer layers prepared by compression-moulding to a higher extent than for their counterparts obtained by casting. The addition of zein interlayer produced minimum changes in mechanical and optical film properties while the incorporation of the zein nanostructured interlayers significantly improved oxygen barrier properties of the multilayer films prepared by both processing technologies. However, the effect of the interlayer on the water vapour and limonene permeability depended on zein content. Thus, this approach provides an innovative way to develop fully renewable microbial biopolyester-based multilayer structures with enhanced barrier performance of significant interest in food packaging applications. © 2012.


Sanchez-Garcia M.D.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Hoa S.V.,Concordia University at Montréal
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.


Perez-Masia R.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lopez-Rubio A.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group | Lagaron J.M.,Novel Materials and Nanotechnology Group
Food Hydrocolloids | Year: 2013

In this work, novel materials with heat management properties have been developed by means of the encapsulation of a phase changing material (PCM) in a biopolymeric matrix using the electrospinning technique. This study optimizes the methodology to obtain micro-, submicro- and nanoencapsulation structures based on zein (a maize protein) and dodecane (a PCM paraffin which has a transition temperature at -10 °C). The results demonstrate that dodecane can be properly encapsulated in the zein matrix under different conditions, although the efficiency and, thus, the heat management properties of the structures developed, change according to the encapsulation morphology and the electrospinning parameters/configuration employed. These encapsulation technologies can be of interest in the food industry in order to develop new smart packaging materials with the ability to maintain temperature control, e.g. to preserve the cold chain. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


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.


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.


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.

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