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Smart nanofibers functionalized with natural pigments: a new approach to food quality monitoring

Grant number: 21/13260-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Technology
Principal Investigator:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Josemar Gonçalves de Oliveira Filho
Host Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/22214-6 - Towards a convergence of technologies: from sensing and biosensing to information visualization and machine learning for data analysis in clinical diagnosis, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):23/02038-7 - Smart nanofiber mats produced via solution blow spinning and electrically assisted supersonic solution blow spinning for food quality monitoring, BE.EP.PD


The shelf life of perishable foods is generally determined by estimates made from microbiological, chemical, and sensory analyzes of samples stored under standardized conditions. In addition to being expensive and time-consuming, such estimates are imprecise when it comes to predicting the real stability of food, as they do not predict the occurrence of inadequate storage, such as the overnight shutdown of refrigeration and freezing systems in commercial establishments. Thus, simple, low-cost colorimetric methods with real-time detection capability can offer promising alternatives for applications in food quality monitoring. The objective of this proposal is to develop colorimetric indicators based on polymeric nanofibers functionalized with natural plant pigments, produced by means of the solution blow spinning technique for application in food quality monitoring. The natural pigments anthocyanins, betalains, chlorophyll, and curcumin will be obtained in the form of hydroethanolic extracts produced from residues of vegetable retail losses (beets, red cabbage, spinach and saffron). The pigment-rich extracts will be evaluated individually and combined in different proportions, in terms of color variation at different pH values (2-11), to select the combination with the greatest range of color variation. Five different polymeric matrices will be tested for the production of nanofibers using the solution blow spinning technique. Two or three matrices that present the best characteristics in the preliminary tests will be combined with the mixture of pigments selected in the previous step for the production of intelligent nanofiber films. The films will be investigated in relation to their morphological, physical-mechanical, thermal and spectroscopic properties, in addition to contact angle analysis, water vapor permeability, water solubility, X-ray diffraction, and color stability in relation to temperature, humidity, light, and storage time. The potential indicator of nanofibers will be evaluated by the color change at different pH values (2-11) and in the presence of ammonia (typical product of fish degradation). Two or three formulations will be selected that result in better sensitivity to changes in pH, which will be subjected to a detailed study of their impact on monitoring the quality of salmon fillets and Minas fresh cheese. It is expected that smart nanofibers produced using the solution blow spinning technique will be able to monitor food quality in real-time, quickly and non-destructively, with low cost and minimal impact on the environment and human health. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE OLIVEIRA FILHO, JOSEMAR GONCALVES; SILVA, CHRISTIAN DE OLIVEIRA; EGEA, MARIANA BURANELO; DE AZEREDO, HENRIETTE MONTEIRO CORDEIRO; MATTOSO, LUIZ HENRIQUE CAPPARELLI. Employing alternative culture media in kefiran exopolysaccharide production: Impact on microbial diversity, physicochemical properties, and bioactivities. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, v. 246, p. 10-pg., . (21/13260-7, 18/22214-6)
DE OLIVEIRA FILHO, JOSEMAR GONSALVES; DE SOUSA, TAINARA LEAL; BERTOLO, MIRELLA ROMANELLI VICENTE; JUNIOR, STANISLAU BOGUSZ; MATTOSO, LUIZ HENRIQUE CAPPARELLI; PIMENTEL, TATIANA COLOMBO; EGEA, MARIANA BURANELO. Next-generation food packaging: Edible bioactive films with alginate, mangaba pulp (Hancornia speciosa), and Saccharomyces boulardii. FOOD BIOSCIENCE, v. 54, p. 10-pg., . (21/13260-7, 18/22214-6)

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