Eco-Friendly ZnO/Chitosan Bionanocomposites Films for Packaging of Fresh Poultry Meat
The advances on the development of novel materials capable to enhance the shelf life of food products may contribute to reduce the current worldwide food waste problem. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are considered GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and due to their good antimicrobial properties are suitable to be applied as active compounds in food packaging. ZnO NPs were synthesized to be tested in active bionanocomposites through an eco-friendlier route using apple peel wastes. This work aimed to develop bionanocomposites based on chitosan and incorporated with ZnO NPs to characterize its bioactivity via in vitro and in situ studies, using fresh poultry meat as the food matrix. Overall, bio-based biodegradable films presented good antimicrobial activity, being the intrinsic antimicrobial properties of chitosan enhanced by the ZnO NPs added on the system. When used as primary packaging of the meat, the samples protected with the films presented a decrease on the deterioration speed, which was represented by the preservation of the initial reddish color of the meat and reduction on the oxidation process and microbiological growth. The nanoparticles enhanced especially the antioxidant properties of the films and proved to be potential food preservatives agents to be used in active food packaging.