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Development of tanin-loaded gelatin/cellulose nanocrystal bionanocomposites for multifunctional packaging by continuous casting

Grant number: 22/13428-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 29, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Francys Kley Vieira Moreira
Grantee:André de Matos Silva
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Present concerns about food quality and the post-consumer impact of non-biodegradable plastic packaging have driven the development of new materials that are both protective and biodegradable. A relevant research area is the development of plastics from gelatin, which is an abundant and non-toxic biopolymer that undergoes rapid biodegradation. However, the applicability of gelatin plastics is challenged by their hydrophilicity and moisture-dependent physical properties. The inclusion of nanomaterials in gelatin can overcome these limitations, however the design of new bionanocomposites requires selecting nanomaterials from renewable sources, edible and with new functionalities for packaging. In this sense, this project proposes the development of biodegradable gelatin plastics reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (CNC), due to their biodegradable character and high reinforcing effect, and incorporated with tannins. Tannins will be incorporated to provide the gelatin/CNC bionanocomposite films with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In particular, bionanocomposite films will be produced by continuous solution casting in order to leverage the production of these materials to a commercial scale. Technological characterizations such as mechanical tests, permeation, heat seal and tear resistance will be carried out, in addition to electron microscopy, FTIR spectroscopy, and antioxidant and antimicrobial activity tests. The microstructure and final properties of the bionanocomposites will be studied as a function of the composition (dimensions and CNC and tannin contents) and continuous casting process variables.

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