Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Nanocomposites Containing Nano Fibrillated Cellulose (NFC) from Agave americana L. for Food Packaging Applications

Paladugu Krishnadev, Kizhaeral S. Subramanian, Arunachalam Lakshmanan, Shunmugam Ganapathy, Kalimuthu Raja, Subramania Krishnaraj Rajkishore

Abstract


Hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) is popularly known as a hydrocolloid for potential use as a biopolymer film. The films of HPMC exhibit brittleness, lacking flexibility, but they can provide a gas barrier. With the aim of improving the HPMC film properties, nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) from the succulent plant Agave americana L was incorporated as reinforcement material using the solution casting method. The films were prepared with three different amounts of NFC with glycerol as a plasticizer. The incorporation of the NFC into the nanocomposite films showed a 1,000-fold reduction in the gas permeability. However, significant improvements in the tensile strength (TS), the elongation at break (EAB), and Young’s modulus (YM) were only observed with 1% NFC. A higher moisture content (24.5%) and a higher solubility (59.5%) were observed in the HPMC/NFC-1 film, which also exhibited the best biodegradability loss of the films that were observed with a 92.8% degradation rate in 15 d of soil burial studies. Therefore, the results evidence that the HPMC/NFC films might be potentially suitable as food wrap packaging on perishable produce of fruits and vegetables to maintain their quality attributes and prolong the storage life.

Keywords


Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose; Nanofibrillated cellulose; Nanocomposite films; Mechanical properties; Barrier properties

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