Antimicrobial and Gas Barrier Crustaceans and Fungal Chitin-Based Coatings on Biodegradable Bioplastic Films
Chitin nanofibrils (CN) can be obtained from crustaceans and fungal sources and can be used for preparing coatings for bioplastic films, that are fundamental for developing a safe and sustainable biodegradable food packaging. Coatings with different concentrations of CN from shrimps were applied on different bioplastic substrates, like Poly (butylene succinate-co-adipate)/Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate (PBSA/PHBV) blend, Polybutylene succinate (PBS), and Polybutylene adipate terephthalate/Poly(lactic acid) (PBAT/PLA) blend, but the adhesion to the substrates was scarce. On the contrary, the fungal-based CN showed a better adhesion. Additionally, it was found that the use of an additive based on oligomeric lactic acid was useful to prepare a coating with an improved adhesion to bioplastics. The gas barrier properties to oxygen and water vapour of coated and un-coated films were measured, revealing an improvement of these properties thanks to applied coatings, especially towards the oxygen. Antimicrobial properties and biodegradation capacity were also evaluated revealing an antibacterial effect of the coatings that did not significantly interfere with their biodegradability. The results are discussed and interpreted considering the correlation between composition and macromolecular structures with the observed functional properties.