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Production of loaded particles and nanocelluloses from agro-industrial by-products: potential application in active coatings or PLA films

Grant number: 22/03469-9
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: January 01, 2023 - December 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Convênio/Acordo: ANR
Principal Investigator:Milena Martelli Tosi
Grantee:Milena Martelli Tosi
Principal researcher abroad: Giana Estela de Andrade Almeida Perré
Institution abroad: ParisTech, France
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers:Carmen Sílvia Fávaro Trindade ; Chloé Chevigny ; Hedi Romdhana ; Odilio Benedito Garrido de Assis ; Patrick Gilbert Georges Perré ; Paulo José do Amaral Sobral ; Samantha Cristina de Pinho ; Sandra Domenek
Associated scholarship(s):23/10790-0 - Obtaining nanocelluloses from agro-industrial by-products, BP.TT
23/05286-1 - Production and characterization of charged particles with active compounds, BP.TT


According to the New Circular Economy Action Plan of the European Commission, circularity is an essential part of a wider transformation of industry towards climate-neutrality and long-term competitiveness. It can deliver substantial material savings along value chains and production processes, generate added value and unlock economic opportunities. The present project, perfectly in line with the principles of the circular economy, proposes an alternative use of by-products coming from agrofood industry by-products, such as grape, artichoke, carrot and coffee, that would be mostly discarded. The main objective is to produce high value-added materials from by-products: active compounds and nanocelluloses. Two main uses of these new materials will be studied, fruit bio-coating and incorporation on biodegradable film. Indeed, previous studies conducted by the FZEA team have shown that fruits coated with nanoparticles loaded with active ingredients are preserved better than those coated with empty nanoparticles. Among the main nanocellulose applications, film reinforcement should be highlighted. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer derived from renewable sources and commercially available. Nevertheless, some disadvantages of PLA films prevent its full acceptance in the market (fragility, poor ductility, unsatisfactory water/oxygen vapor barrier properties). The addition of the nanocelluloses produced in this project will be tested as reinforcement in PLA matrices to improve their properties. The ambition of this project is to link the skills of the bilateral teams in very complementary fields: FZEA-Embrapa, pre-treatment of by-products from the agro-food industry and production of low-purified nanocelluloses; SayFood, production of nano-loaded films (for medical, cosmetic or food application), study of barrier properties/structure of films; LGPM: expertise on measurement and modeling of water transfer through bioproducts. The specific objectives of this study are: i) the extraction of active compounds extracted from by-products and their encapsulation in chitosan-based particles; ii) the production and characterization of nanocelluloses with different degree of lignins obtained from fibrous by-products/extraction residue by enzymatic hydrolysis and mechanical treatments; iii) the application of loaded particles and nanocelluloses for coatings and PLA film functionalization and reinforcement, respectively and iv) the predictive modeling and life cycle assessment as tools for design purposes. The relevance of this study is based on the importance of i) mastering the methods of treatment of by-products and ii) better understanding the interactions of the studied materials to improve its technological applications. (AU)

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