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Zein Multilayer Electrospun Nanofibers Contain Essential Oil: Release Kinetic, Functional Effectiveness, and Application to Fruit Preservation

In this study, sequential electrospinning was employed to produce a multilayer film consisting of zein nanofibers (Z) and Zataria multiflora essential oil (ZMEO) with different layers. The layers include: Z (without ZMEO), Z1 (one layer of Z + ZMEO), Z3 (three layers of Z + ZMEO), and Z5 (five layers of Z + ZMEO). Then, the effect of this antimicrobial packaging was investigated in relation to increasing the shelf life of strawberries at 4 °C for 12 days. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the fibers demonstrated a uniform and smooth structure without any beads. The use of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed that ZMEO was physically encapsulated into multilayer Z, resulting in an enhancement in thermal stability. The multilayer film showed a sustained release pattern of the encapsulated ZMEO for Z3, lasting for 90 h, and Z5, lasting for 180 h. This was in contrast to the rapid release within 50 h observed with Z film. The release kinetics for Z5 showed a good correlation with both the Higuchi and Korsmeyer–Peppas models, while for Z1 and Z3 films, Fickian diffusion was identified as the underlying mechanism. The findings of this study indicated that the multilayer film released ZMEO through a combination of diffusion and polymeric erosion. During a 12-day period of cold storage, strawberries that were treated with Z5 showed significant preservation of their anthocyanin (32.99%), antioxidant activity (25.04%), weight loss (24.46%), titratable acidity (11.47%), firmness (29.67%), and color (10.17%) compared to the control sample. The findings indicated that the sequential electrospinning technique used to create the multilayer nanofibrous film could be used in various fields, such as bioactive encapsulation, controlled release, antimicrobial packaging, and food preservation.

Publication date: 25/02/2024

Author: Farid Moradinezhad

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods13050700

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.