Technological watch

Advancing Food Preservation: Sustainable Green-AgNPs Bionanocomposites in Paper-Starch Flexible Packaging for Prolonged Shelf Life

In the pursuit of enhancing food packaging, nanotechnology, particularly green silver nanoparticles (G-AgNPs), have gained prominence for its remarkable antimicrobial properties with high potential for food shelf-life extension. Our study aims to develop corn starch-based coating materials reinforced with G-AgNPs. The mechanical properties were examined using a uniaxial tensile tester, revealing that starch coated with the highest G-AgNPs concentration (12.75 ppm) exhibited UTS of 87.6 MPa compared to 48.48 MPa of control paper, a significant (p < 0.02) 65% increase. The assessment of the WVP showcased a statistical reduction in permeability by up to 8% with the incorporation of the hydrophobic layer. Furthermore, antibacterial properties were assessed following ISO 22196:2011, demonstrating a strong and concentration-dependent activity of G-AgNPs against E. coli. All samples successfully disintegrated in both simulated environments (soil and seawater), including samples presenting G-AgNPs. In the food trial analysis, the presence of starch and G-AgNPs significantly reduced weight loss after 6 days, with cherry tomatoes decreasing by 8.59% and green grapes by 6.77% only. The results of this study contribute to the advancement of environmentally friendly packaging materials, aligning with the UN sustainable development goals of reducing food waste and promoting sustainability.

Publication date: 29/03/2024

Author: Federico Trotta

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym16070941

MDPI (polymers)


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.