This study aims to address the issue of environmental pollution caused by non-biodegradable petroleum-based food packaging by exploring the application of biodegradable films. Film casting was employed to fabricate food packaging films from chitosan (CS) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymers blended with moringa extract (MoE) and various concentrations of magnesium oxide nanoparticles (MgO NPs). The films were characterized through multiple techniques, including UV spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), and Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The study investigated the physicomechanical properties, water solubility, water vapor transmission rate, oxygen permeability, migration test, biodegradability, contact angle, anti-fogging, antibacterial and antifungal activity, and application of the films for food packaging. The results showed that blending CS/PVA films with MoE and MgO NPs significantly improved their mechanical properties. The highest tensile strength of 98 MPa was observed in the CPMMgO-0.5 film. The solubility of the films was low, with CPMMgO-0 and CPMMgO-0.25 demonstrating the lowest solubility as weight decreased by 3.41 % and 3.47 %, respectively. The water vapor transmission rate and oxygen permeability decreased with increasing MgO NP concentrations, with the CPMMgO-0.5 film exhibiting the lowest values. The films also demonstrated good biodegradability, anti-fogging ability, antibacterial and antifungal activity, and low water solubility, enabling bead encapsulation over 14 days in good condition. Moreover, the thermal stability of the films was improved, extending the shelf life of bread. Therefore, the fabricated films provide a promising alternative to non-degradable plastic packaging, which heavily contributes to environmental pollution.
Keywords: Active packaging; Bioactive polymer; Green MgO nanoparticles; Moringa.
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