Double-Layered Films Based on Furcellaran, Chitosan, and Gelatin Hydrolysates Enriched with AgNPs in Yerba Mate Extract, Montmorillonite, and Curcumin with Rosemary Essential Oil
Double-layered active films based on furcellaran (1st layer&mdash;FUR), chitosan, and gelatin hydrolysates (2nd layer&mdash;CHIT+HGEL) were successfully prepared. Bioactive ingredients were added to the 1st film layer: AgNPs, which were synthesized in situ with yerba mate extract; montmorillonite clay (MMT); and different loads of ethanolic curcumin (CUR) extract enriched with rosemary essential oil (REO). SEM images confirmed the presence of AgNPs with a size distribution of 94.96 &plusmn; 3.33 nm throughout the films, and AFM and SEM photos indicated that the higher substance concentrations had rougher and more porous film microstructures. However, the water vapor transmission rate was reduced only at the lowest load of this ingredient. Despite the tensile strength of the films having decreased, the incorporation of the compounds showed a tendency towards reducing the modulus of elasticity, resulting in a lower stiffness of the composites. The addition of CUR and AgNPs improved the UV light barrier properties of the materials. The presented films showed quick reactions to changes in the pH value (from orange to red along with an increase in pH from 2 to 10), which indicates their potential use as indicators for monitoring the freshness of food products. Composite No. 2 showed the highest antimicrobial potential, while none of the presented films showed an antifungal effect. Finally, the antioxidant activities of the films increased dramatically at higher AgNP and CUR loads, suggesting an outstanding potential for active food packaging applications.