Active Packaging Films Made by Complex Coacervation of Tragacanth Gum and Gelatin Loaded with Curcumin; Characterization and Antioxidant Activity
The development of biopolymer-based green packaging films has gained remarkable attention in recent years. In this study, curcumin active films were prepared using different proportions of gelatin (GE) and a soluble fraction of tragacanth gum (SFTG) (1GE:1SFTG and 2GE:1SFTG) by complex coacervation. The various ratios of used biopolymers did not significantly impact the mechanical properties, thickness, and WVP of final films. However, biopolymers&rsquo; ratio impacted the moisture content, water solubility, swelling ratio, and release rate. Blending curcumin with biopolymers caused a reduction in tensile strength (from 1.74 MPa to 0.62 MPa for film containing 1GE:1SFTG and from 1.77 MPa to 0.17 MPa for film containing 2GE:1SFTG) and proliferation in elongation at break (from 81.48% to 122.00% for film containing 1GE:1SFTG and from 98.87% to 109.58% MPa for film containing 2GE:1SFTG). Moisture content and water solubility of films experienced a decrease after the addition of curcumin. Antioxidant activity of curcumin-loaded films was almost five times higher than neat film samples. Furthermore, the interreaction between the carboxylic group of SFTG and amide I of GE formed an amide linkage and was proven by FTIR analysis. TGA showed a drop in the thermal stability of film samples compared to the main ingredients. In general, the complex coacervate of SFTG and GE has the advantage of developing eco-friendly and low-cost packaging film in the food industry, especially for the protection of fatty foods.