A Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)/Macca Carbon Advanced Composite Film with Functional Properties for Packaging Materials
Macca carbon (MC) powder, a biomass derived from macadamia nut cultivation that emits far-infrared (FIR) radiation, was incorporated into low-density polyethylene (LDPE) by melt-compounding and subsequent melt-extrusion operations. Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermal gravitational analysis, mechanical properties, FIR emission power, barrier properties, transmission properties, antimicrobial activity assays, and storage tests were used to evaluate the manufactured LDPE/MC composite viability sheets for antimicrobial packaging applications. The physical properties and antibacterial activity of composite films were significantly correlated with the amount of MC powder used. The higher the MC powder content in the LDPE/MC composite film, the better the FIR emission ability. Only the MC powder at 0.5% by weight displayed adequate fundamental film characteristics, antibacterial activity, and storage performance, allowing lettuce and strawberries to remain fresh for more than 7 and 5 days, respectively, outside the refrigerator. This study demonstrates that FIR composites made from MC powder are a distinct and potential packaging material for future application in the food industry.
Publication date: 27/04/2022
Author: Jitladda Sakdapipanich
Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14091794