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Gelatin/Chitosan Films Incorporated with Curcumin Based on Photodynamic Inactivation Technology for Antibacterial Food Packaging

Photodynamic inactivation (PDI) is a new type of non-thermal sterilization technology that combines visible light with photosensitizers to generate a bioactive effect against foodborne pathogenic bacteria. In the present investigation, gelatin (GEL)/chitosan (CS)-based functional films with PDI potency were prepared by incorporating curcumin (Cur) as a photosensitizer. The properties of GEL/CS/Cur (0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2 mmol/L) films were investigated by evaluating the surface morphology, chemical structure, light transmittance, and mechanical properties, as well as the photochemical and thermal stability. The results showed a strong interaction and good compatibility between the molecules present in the GEL/CS/Cur films. The addition of Cur improved different film characteristics, including thickness, mechanical properties, and solubility. More importantly, when Cur was present at a concentration of 0.1 mM, the curcumin-mediated PDI inactivated >4.5 Log CFU/mL (>99.99%) of Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Shewanella putrefaciens after 70 min (15.96 J/cm2) of irradiation with blue LED (455 ± 5) nm. Moreover, Listeria monocytogenes and Shewanella putrefaciens were completely inactivated after 70 min of light exposure when the Cur concentration was 0.2 mM. In contrast, the highest inactivation effect was observed in Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This study showed that the inclusion of Cur in the biopolymer-based film transport system in combination with photodynamic activation represents a promising option for the preparation of food packaging films.

Publication date: 14/04/2022

Author: Fan Wang

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14081600

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.