Document Type : Regular Article
Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering, Department of Materials, NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi Pakistan
Biodegradable films for food packaging applications are one of the emerging materials researched extensively. This is due to their low cost, easy processing, inertness, eco-friendly and faster biodegradation. In this study, ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) were selected (chemically stable) along with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) matrix for biodegradable packaging. Here two concentrations of ZnO-NPs were studied i.e., 0.5wt% and 5.0wt%. In addition, the effect of such packaging was observed using grapes (Vitis-vinifera). This was followed by characterization using UV-Vis, SEM, XRD, and fruit quality. Results suggest enhanced stability of biofilms upon the incorporation of ZnO-NPs into PVA biofilms. Mechanical and physical properties were improved significantly. Also, application-wise; the Vitis-vinifera (grapes) were packed into such biofilms and subjected to observations to assess their quality (i.e., physical appearance, freshness, taste, and antimicrobial activity) for 15 days. It appeared very clear that the quality of grapes remained excellent at the designated duration, on the contrary degradation of such grapes was observed in terms of fruit color and decay rates within 3 days of exposure on controlled samples (without packaging at 6°C. However, at 5.0 wt%, the quality of grapes was excellent among all). Extensive discussion is presented on biofilm stability, associated properties, and fruit quality.