Developed Chitosan/Oregano Essential Oil Biocomposite Packaging Film Enhanced by Cellulose Nanofibril
The use of advanced and eco-friendly materials has become a trend in the field of food packaging. Cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) were prepared from bleached bagasse pulp board by a mechanical grinding method and were used to enhance the properties of a chitosan/oregano essential oil (OEO) biocomposite packaging film. The growth inhibition rate of the developed films with 2% (w/w) OEO against E. coli and L. monocytogenes reached 99%. With the increased levels of added CNFs, the fibrous network structure of the films became more obvious, as was determined by SEM and the formation of strong hydrogen bonds between CNFs and chitosan was observed in FTIR spectra, while the XRD pattern suggested that the strength of diffraction peaks and crystallinity of the films slightly increased. The addition of 20% CNFs contributed to an oxygen-transmission rate reduction of 5.96 cc/m2&middot;day and water vapor transmission rate reduction of 741.49 g/m2&middot;day. However, the increase in CNFs contents did not significantly improve the barrier properties of the film. The addition of 60% CNFs significantly improved the barrier properties of the film to light and exhibited the lowest light transmittance (28.53%) at 600 nm. Addition of CNFs to the chitosan/OEO film significantly improved tensile strength and the addition of 60% CNFs contributed to an increase of 16.80 MPa in tensile strength. The developed chitosan/oregano essential oil/CNFs biocomposite film with favorable properties and antibacterial activity can be used as a green, functional material in the food-packaging field. It has the potential to improve food quality and extend food shelf life.