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Preparation, Characterization and Evaluation of Antibacterial Properties of Polylactide-Polyethylene Glycol-Chitosan Active Composite Films

Chitin is a natural biopolymer obtained from the exoskeleton of crustaceans. Chitosan is a derivative of chitin, which has antimicrobial properties and potential applications in several industries. Moreover, the composites of chitosan with other biodegradable polymers, such as polylactide (PLA) as packaging film, have shown promising results. In this study, chitosan was obtained and characterized from shrimp shells. Then, polylactide-chitosan composite films were prepared by a solvent casting technique using various amounts of chitosan (0.5–2% w/w) and polyethylene glycol as plasticizer (10% w/w). Thermal, mechanical properties, Fourier-transform infrared, scanning electron microscopy, as well as antibacterial properties of composite films were determined. It was found that adding chitosan (CH) into PLA films has a significant effect on tensile strength and no effect on thermal properties. The results showed a reduction on average of 1 log of colony-forming units against Staphylococcus aureus, while there is no antibacterial effect against Salmonella typhimurium. The study proved the antibacterial effect of CH in films of PLA against Gram-positive bacteria and appropriate mechanical properties. These films could be used for the development of biodegradable/eco-friendly food packaging prototypes, as a potential solution to replace conventional non-degradable packaging materials.

Publication date: 01/06/2022

Author: Rómulo Salazar

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14112266

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.