Fabrication and characterization of novel antimicrobial films derived from thymol-loaded zein-sodium caseinate (SC) nanoparticles.J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Nov 21; 60(46):11592-600.JA
The objective of this research was to fabricate novel antimicrobial films based on zein colloidal nanoparticles coated with sodium caseinate (SC), an emulsifier/stabilizer. Thymol-loaded zein-SC nanoparticles were prepared using an antisolvent technique, with the average particle size and zeta potential about 200 ± 20 nm and -40 mV, respectively. Zein-SC nanoparticle-based films exhibited higher mechanical resistance and water barrier capacity than the SC films and concomitant good extensibility as compared with zein films. Thymol loadings endowed zein-SC nanoparticle-based films with antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Salmonella as well as DPPH radical scavenging activity. Water vapor permeability, microstructure, mechanical, and controlled release properties of the films were evaluated. The possible relationship between some selected physical properties and microstructure were also discussed. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis indicated that thymol loadings resulted in the emergence phenomena of the nanoparticles to form large particles or packed structure, consisting of clusters of nanoparticles, within the film matrix, in a thymol loading dependent manner. The appearance of large particles or an agglomerate of particles may weaken the compactness of protein network of films and thus impair the water barrier capacity, mechanical resistance, and extensibility of the films. The release kinetics of thymol from nanoparticle-based films can be described as a two-step biphasic process, that is, an initial burst effect followed by subsequent slower release, and zein-SC nanoparticles within the films matrices gave them the ability to sustain the release of thymol. In addition, a schematic illustration of the formation pathway of zein-SC nanoparticle-based films with or without thymol was proposed to illuminate the possible relationship between some selected physical properties and the microstructure of the films.