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Application of biopolymer-based films containing emulsified active principles as paper/cardboard coating

Grant number: 21/13901-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Engineering
Principal Investigator:Paulo José do Amaral Sobral
Grantee:Kamila de Lima Santos
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07914-8 - FoRC - Food Research Center, AP.CEPID


Paper is an excellent material for food packaging. It is biodegradable, lightweight, has good mechanical properties, and is recyclable and from a renewable source, but its hydrophilicity and porosity can be a problem. Therefore, they are normally coated with aluminum and/or plastics, with excellent results, but unfortunately with a loss of biodegradability and recyclability of the composite formed. The use of biopolymers as a coating for this material can be an alternative, since they are biodegradable. Thus, the main objective of this project will be the application of coatings based on cassava starch, gelatin and/or chitosan incorporated with active compounds (rutin, alpha-tocorefol and/or carvacrol), and with nanoparticles (montmorillonite, and nanocrystals of starch and cellulose) on paper/cardboard, with special interest in the effect of the coating composition on the main physical and functional properties of the material. The active components will be firstly, encapsulated in nanoemulsions or Pickering emulsions, using a microfluidizer or an ultraturrax, respectively. In the latter case, chitosan nanoparticles will be used as stabilizers. The cassava starch, gelatin and chitosan Coating-Forming Solutions (CFS) containing the emulsified active components will be prepared and applied to the paper/cardboard using an automatic film spreader. The coated cellulosic materials will be characterized to determine their main physical properties: mechanical, water vapor and UV/visible light barriers, gloss, color and opacity, microstructure (by SEM and AFM), roughness, crystallinity and antioxidant and antimicrobials activities. The paper/cardboard will be previously characterized to determine grammage, internal and surface microstructure, and films and nanocomposites will also be studied for comparison purposes. It is expected by the end of this project, to have generated knowledge about SFR and substrate (paper/cardboard) interactions, as well as possible interactions between active compounds and nanoparticles. It is also expected to produce cellulosic materials with antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, with biological raw materials, of interest to industries concerned with sustainability and environmental issues. (AU)

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