Biodegradability, physical, mechanical and antimicrobial attributes of starch nanocomposites containing chitosan nanoparticles
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
School of Engineering
This study aimed to develop a plasticized starch (PS) based film loaded with chitosan nanoparticles (CNPs, 1, 2, 3, and 4%) as a reinforcing and antibacterial agent. We examined the morphology, biodegradability, mechanical, thermo-mechanical, and barrier properties of the PS/CNPs films. The antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive (S. aureus) and Gram-negative (E. coli) bacteria was investigated by colony forming unit (CFU) and disc diffusion methods. A dense structure was obtained for all PS/CNPs films and, thus, their complete biodegradation occurred in more days than neat PS. The increase in the CNPs percentage led to improved mechanical behaviour and barrier properties. PS-CNPs composite films revealed inhibition zones against both E. coli and S. aureus, with the 100% reduction in CFU against S. aureus. The current study exhibited that PS-CNPs films were more effective in inhibiting bacteria growth than neat PS film, confirming the composite films potential application as antimicrobial food packaging.