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Halloysite nanotubes loaded with peppermint essential oil as filler for functional biopolymer film

  • Autori: Biddeci G.; Cavallaro G.; Di Blasi F.; Lazzara G.; Massaro M.; Milioto S.; Parisi F.; Riela S.; Spinelli G.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2016
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The purpose of this paper is to show how a functional bionanocomposite film with both antioxidant and antimicrobial activities was successfully prepared by the filling of a pectin matrix with modified Halloysite nanotubes (HNT) containing the essential peppermint oil (PO). Firstly, HNT surfaces were functionalized with cucurbit[6]uril (CB[6]) molecules with the aim to enhance the affinity of the nanofiller towards PO, which was estimated by means of HPLC experiments. The HNT/CB[6] hybrid was characterized by several methods (thermogravimetry, FT-IR spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy) highlighting the influence of the supramolecular interactions on the composition, thermal behavior and morphology of the filler. Then, a pectin + HNT/CB[6] biofilm was prepared by the use of the casting method under specific experimental conditions in order to favor the entrapment of the volatile PO into the nanocomposite structure. Water contact angle measurements, thermogravimetry and tensile tests evidenced the effects of the modified filler on the thermo-mechanical and wettability properties of pectin, which were correlated to the microscopic structure of the biocomposite film. In addition, PO release in food simulant solvent was investigated at different temperatures (4 and 25 °C), whereas the antioxidant activity of the nanocomposite film was estimated using the DPPH method. Finally, we studied the in vitro antibacterial activity of the biofilm against Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive), which were isolated by beef and cow milk, respectively. These experiments were carried out at specific temperatures (4, 37 and 65 °C) that can be useful for a multi-step food conservation. This paper puts forwards an easy strategy to prepare a functional sustainable edible film with thermo-sensitive antioxidant/antimicrobial activity.