The combined effect of additives and processing on the thermal stability and controlled release of essential oils in antimicrobial films

Roni Efrati, Michal Natan, Avishay Pelah, Anina Haberer, Ehud Banin, Ana Dotan, Amos Ophir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Essential oils (EOs) have a long history as food preservatives and many advantages compared to synthetic preservatives. The major limitation of EOs as antimicrobial agents incorporated into a polymeric matrix is their low thermal stability and their high volatility from polymers. This study suggests a new methodology approach to bypass the key limitations of adding EOs into active packaging, as food preservatives. Antimicrobial active films based on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and Montmorillonite (MMT) were produced by incorporating the EO thymol in a stepwise procedure. The production of the film composites, containing thymol, has been conducted, under a protocol of three stages: (1) production of a highly porous nano composite master batch; (2) impregnation of thymol into the master batch; and (3) cast film extrusion. Adding MMT incorporated together with a foaming agent at stage-(1) increased significantly the heat stability of the EO during melt processing at stage-(3). Finally, the film obtained showed a high antimicrobial activity. The results obtained have proven the synergistic interaction between MMT, foaming agent and thymol. As the MMT content in the film increased, the loss of EO in the processing decreased, leading to a natural antimicrobial film with improved antibacterial properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40564
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Volume131
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Aug 2014

Keywords

  • clay
  • composites
  • packaging

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