Antibacterial nanocomposites designed for food packaging

Iranian researchers produced antibacterial nanocomposite samples that have applications in foodstuff packaging, INIC reports.

According to Iran Technology Initiative Council (INIC), Iranian researchers produced antibacterial nanocomposite samples that have applications in foodstuff packaging that increase durability of the foodstuff without using preservatives.

Nanocomposite synthesized in this research is a combination of copper nanoparticles and polymers used in packaging industry. Copper is an essential element for cellular metabolism, and one of the important elements for connection between neurons. Taking into consideration the fact that the allowed amount of copper in diet should be 2-10 mg according to global standards, it can take the place of silver as an antibacterial material with better properties but less toxicity.

Based on studies, the nanocomposite has appropriate antibacterial properties against gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Therefore, nutritional value of foodstuff and drugs will be preserved by using the nanocomposite without the need for harmful chemical preservatives. In addition, flexibility, formability and mechanical resistance are among the important issues in packaging. Studies also showed that the produced nanocomposite has higher mechanical resistance in comparison with the pure polymer.

The use of nanoparticles with antibacterial and antifungal properties in milk packaging resulted in the preservation of milk up to 32 days without using any preservatives.

Results of the research have been published in Journal of Food Science and Technology, vol. 52, issue 9, 2015, pp. 5982-5988.

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