Polyesters Incorporating Gallic Acid as Oxygen Scavenger in Biodegradable Packaging
Biodegradable polyesters polybutylene succinate (PBS) and polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) were blended with gallic acid (GA) via cast extrusion to produce oxygen scavenging polymers. The effects of polyesters and GA contents (5 to 15%) on polymer/package properties were investigated. Increasing GA formed non-homogeneous microstructures and surface roughness due to immiscibility. GA had favorable interaction with PBAT than PBS, giving more homogeneous microstructures, reduced mechanical relaxation temperature, and modified X-ray diffraction and crystalline morphology of PBAT polymers. Non-homogenous dispersion of GA reduced mechanical properties and increased water vapor and oxygen permeability by two and seven folds, respectively. Increasing amounts of GA and higher humidity enhanced oxygen absorption capacity, which also depended on the dispersion characteristics of GA in the matrices. PBAT gave higher oxygen absorption than PBS due to better dispersion and higher reactive surface area. GA blended with PBAT and PBS increased oxygen scavenging activity as sustainable active food packaging using functional biodegradable polymers.