Na-Montmorillonite vs. Organically Modified Montmorillonite as Essential Oil Nanocarriers for Melt-Extruded Low-Density Poly-Ethylene Nanocomposite Active Packaging Films with a Controllable and Long-Life Antioxidant Activity
Nowadays, active packaging is becoming significant for the extension of the shelf life of food products via the incorporation of raw nanomaterials such as nanoclays and bioactive compounds such as essential oils (EO). This study aims to study the performance of the sodium montmorillonite (NaMt) and organically modified montmorillonite (OrgMt) as thyme (TO), oregano (OO), and basil (BO) essential oil (EO) control release nanocarriers in low-density poly-ethylene (LDPE) active films. NaMt and OrgMt nanofillers are modified with low (20 wt.%), medium (40 wt.%), and high (80 wt.%) nominal contents of TO, OO, and BO. The novel active packaging films were tested using the X-ray diffraction method (XRD), tensile, water, and oxygen barrier properties, and antioxidant activity tests. For the two most active packaging films, the lipid oxidation of chicken breast fillets estimated by the thiobarbituric-acid-reacting substances (TBARS) method. Overall study shows that both NaMtEO-based and OrgMt-based films exhibited controllable and sustained antioxidant activity. All films retained up to 50&ndash;70% of their antioxidant activity after six months of incubation. OrgMtEO-based LDPE films showed more significance applied as active packaging films than NaMtEO-based LDPE films because of their highest tensile and barrier properties.