Chitosan Films Functionalized with Different Hydroxycinnamic Acids: Preparation, Characterization and Application for Pork Preservation
Hydroxycinnamic acids are one category of bioactive phenolic acids that are widely distributed in plants. In this study, chitosan (CS) was functionalized with three kinds of hydroxycinnamic acids (p-coumaric acid, caffeic acid and ferulic acid) through the carbodiimide-mediated grafting method. The obtained hydroxycinnamic-acid-grafted CSs (hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CSs) were further fabricated into food packaging films through solvent casting. For the first time, the functionalities of the different hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CS films were compared. Results showed the grafting ratio of p-coumaric acid-g-CS, caffeic acid-g-CS and ferulic acid-g-CS was 73.68, 129.42 and 91.75 mg/g, respectively. Instrumental analyses confirmed hydroxycinnamic acids conjugated with CS through amide and ester bonds. The functionalization of CS film with hydroxycinnamic acids produced a more compact microstructure and higher UV light barrier ability, mechanical strength, water vapor barrier ability, thermal stability and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. Among the different hydroxycinnamic acid-g-CS films, caffeic acid-g-CS film presented the strongest barrier, mechanical, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Moreover, caffeic acid-g-CS film packaging effectively extended the shelf life of pork to 10 days at 4 °C. Our results suggest caffeic acid-g-CS film can be used in the active food packaging field.