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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’ 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.

Publication date: 11/10/2022

Author: Fateme Amani

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods11203168

MDPI (foods)


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.