Controlled Release of Antimicrobial Compounds from Highly Swellable Polymers

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The suitability of antimicrobial release films made from highly swellable polymers for use in food packaging was evaluated. The possibility of modulating the release kinetics of active compounds either by regulating the degree of cross-link of the polymer matrix or by using multilayer structures was addressed. The release kinetics of lysozyme, nisin, and sodium benzoate (active compounds with different molecular weights) were determined at ambient temperature (25°C). The effectiveness of the proposed active films in inhibiting microbial growth was addressed by determining the antimicrobial efficiency of the released active compounds. Micrococcus lysodeikticus, Alicyclobacillus acidoterrestris, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were used to test the antimicrobial efficiency of released lysozyme, nisin, and sodium benzoate, respectively. Results indicate that the release kinetics of both lysozyme and nisin can be modulated through the degree of cross-link of the polymer matrix, whereas multilayer structures need to be used to control the release kinetics of sodium benzoate. All the active compounds released from the investigated active films were effective in inhibiting microbial growth.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Composite and Biomedical Materials, National Research Center P. le Tecchio, 80-80125 Naples, Italy 2: Department of Food Science, University of Foggia, Via Napoli, 25-71100 Foggia, Italy

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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