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On the Use of Gallic Acid as a Potential Natural Antioxidant and Ultraviolet Light Stabilizer in Cast-Extruded Bio-Based High-Density Polyethylene Films

This study originally explores the use of gallic acid (GA) as a natural additive in bio-based high-density polyethylene (bio-HDPE) formulations. Thus, bio-HDPE was first melt-compounded with two different loadings of GA, namely 0.3 and 0.8 parts per hundred resin (phr) of biopolymer, by twin-screw extrusion and thereafter shaped into films using a cast-roll machine. The resultant bio-HDPE films containing GA were characterized in terms of their mechanical, morphological, and thermal performance as well as ultraviolet (UV) light stability to evaluate their potential application in food packaging. The incorporation of 0.3 and 0.8 phr of GA reduced the mechanical ductility and crystallinity of bio-HDPE, but it positively contributed to delaying the onset oxidation temperature (OOT) by 36.5 °C and nearly 44 °C, respectively. Moreover, the oxidation induction time (OIT) of bio-HDPE, measured at 210 °C, was delayed for up to approximately 56 and 240 min, respectively. Furthermore, the UV light stability of the bio-HDPE films was remarkably improved, remaining stable for an exposure time of 10 h even at the lowest GA content. The addition of the natural antioxidant slightly induced a yellow color in the bio-HDPE films and it also reduced their transparency, although a high contact transparency level was maintained. This property can be desirable in some packaging materials for light protection, especially UV radiation, which causes lipid oxidation in food products. Therefore, GA can successfully improve the thermal resistance and UV light stability of green polyolefins and will potentially promote the use of natural additives for sustainable food packaging applications.

Publication date: 23/12/2019

Author: Luis Quiles-Carrillo

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym12010031

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.