Polyethylene Films Containing Silver Nanoparticles for Applications in Food Packaging: Characterization of Physico-Chemical and Anti-Microbial Properties
This paper reports the antibacterial effect and physico-chemical characterization of films containing silver nanoparticles for use as food packaging. Two masterbatches (named PEN and PEC) containing silver nanoparticles embedded in distinct carriers (silica and titanium dioxide) were mixed with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) in different compositions and extruded to produce plain films. These films were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The morphology of the films showed the formation of agglomerates of nanoparticles in both PEN and PEC composites. X-ray analyses confirmed the presence of SiO2 in PEN samples and TiO2 in PEC samples. Thermal analyses indicated an increase in thermal stability of the PEC compositions. The antimicrobial efficacy was determined by applying the test strain for Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, according to the Japanese Industrial Standard Method (JIS Z 2801:2000). The films analyzed showed antimicrobial properties against the tested microorganisms, presenting better activity against the S. aureus than E. Coli. These findings suggest that LDPE films with silver nanoparticles are promising to provide a significant contribution to the quality and safety of packaged food.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 March 2015
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