Structure and Properties of Chitin Whisker Reinforced Papers for Food Packaging Application

Zhihan Li, Rendang Yang, Fei Yang, Ming Zhang, Bin Wang


In recent years, concerns about environmental waste caused by petroleum-derived chemicals as well as the consumer's demand for high quality food products, have prompted people to pay more attention to developing biodegradable food packaging materials using natural resources such as cellulose fibers and chitin derivatives. In this study, chitin whiskers have been successfully generated by hydrolyzing the α-chitin sample. Then the synthesized nano-sized chitin whiskers were used at ratios from 0.1% to 2% (wt%) for improving strength properties of paper sheets by the dip-coating method. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) were used to investigate the morphology of chitin whiskers and cellulose fiber compounds. The results showed that coating with chitin whiskers brought about an increase in tear strength, burst strength, and wet and dry tensile strength, with a decrease in Zeta-potential value.


Chitin whisker; Reinforced paper; Food packaging application

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