Ethylene is known as the fruit ripening hormone because even at extremely low concentrations, it can accelerate the ripening not only of fruits but vegetables. Ripening can lead to losses, especially during transport and storage. Ethylene capture methods have been used, including sachets containing adsorbents, which are placed in transportation and storage boxes. In a project recently completed in our laboratory (Process FAPESP 2016 / 25120-7), two adsorbents (active carbon and zeolite) were impregnated with metals (silver and palladium) and then added to the chitosan solution to coat Kraft papers. Packaging with coated paper outperformed commercial sachets. Although such adsorbents are capable of adsorbing ethylene, impregnation with metals has been found to improve adsorption capacity compared to metal-free adsorbent coatings substantially. In this sense, it has been hypothesized that ethylene capture may be promoted by chitosan coatings containing only metals (silver or palladium), i.e., without adsorbing materials. This project aims to study the capture of ethylene by the action of palladium chloride or silver nitrate in chitosan solutions used in Kraft paper coatings. The coated papers will be characterized by weight, water vapor permeability, water absorption capacity, Taber stiffness, microstructure, thermogravimetric analysis, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy. The coated papers will also be used to prepare a climate fruit (cherry tomato) packaging cartridge. The efficiency of the coated paper will be evaluated in the shelf-life test during the storage of this fruit.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: