Curcumin-Functionalized Gelatin Films: Antioxidant Materials with Modulated Physico-Chemical Properties
In this paper we used curcumin as a functionalizing agent of gelatin films with the aim to get antioxidant materials with modulated physico-chemical properties. To this aim, we prepared gelatin films at different contents of curcumin up to about 1.2 wt%. The as-prepared films, as well as glutaraldehyde crosslinked films, were submitted to several tests: swelling, water solubility, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, mechanical tests and curcumin release. The radical scavenging activity of the as-prepared films is similar to that of free curcumin, indicating remarkable antioxidant properties. All the other tested properties vary as a function of curcumin content and/or the presence of the crosslinking agent. In particular, the films exhibit sustained curcumin release in different solvents. Thanks to its biocompatibility, biodegradability and lack of antigenicity, gelatin uses span from food processing to packaging and biomaterials. It follows that the modulated properties exhibited by the functionalized materials developed in this work can be usefully employed in different application fields.