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Development of food packaging with antimicrobial properties using nanocomposites based on biopolymers and metallic nanoparticles

Grant number: 23/04376-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 22, 2023
Effective date (End): June 21, 2024
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Lucia Helena Mascaro Sales
Grantee:Gleison Neres Marques
Supervisor: José Ignacio Velasco Perero
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:21/06128-5 - Study of antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 OF copper nanoparticles and copper oxide supported in kefiran, BP.DR


There is an urgent need for alternatives to non-biodegradable plastics produced from non-renewable sources, which contribute to environmental pollution and sustainability issues. Biopolymers extracted from renewable sources, such as kefiran, have gained attention for their antibacterial and antitumor properties. Kefiran has been investigated for its potential use in food packaging, but challenges related to its mechanical and barrier properties remain. Strategies such as incorporating metal nanoparticles and other biopolymers such as carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) have been explored to improve their properties. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the need for antiviral properties in food packaging materials. Based on this, this project proposes the development of nanocomposite films based on Kefiran, carboxymethyl cellulose, and metallic nanoparticles (CuO, Cu, and ZnO NPs). The films will be produced from the casting molding method using previously investigated concentrations of CMC and Kefiran. Antimicrobial screening tests, using the produced nanoparticles, and the determination of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of different bacteria will be used to define the optimal concentrations of the NPs that will be added to the films, From this, the mechanical, water vapor and light barrier and antimicrobial properties will be investigated and discussed based on the concentration of each of these materials in the nanocomposite. These experiments will be carried out in the laboratories of the functional polymeric materials research group (POLY2) at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC) under the supervision of Professor José Ignacio Velasco. (AU)

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