Antimicrobial, antioxidant, and pH-sensitive polyvinyl alcohol/chitosan-based composite films with aronia extract, cellulose nanocrystals, and grapefruit seed extract.Int J Biol Macromol. 2022 Jul 31; 213:381-393.IJ
Aronia or black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), and grapefruit seed extract (GSE) were used for the preparation of multifunctional polyvinyl alcohol/chitosan (PVA/CS) composite films with pH-sensitivity, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and UV-barrier properties. Aronia extract showed total phenolic content of 297 ± 0.5 μg GAE/mg aronia extract, potent antioxidant activity, and high color-response efficiency. Isolated CNCs showed a needle-like structure with a length of 470 nm and a width of 35 nm. The tensile strength of the PVA/CS composite film increased by 74% after the incorporation of CNCs, whereas the film flexibility was enhanced by 75% after adding GSE. The PVA/CS-A (aronia extract) composite film showed a significant color change at different pHs and potent antioxidant activity. At the same time, the PVA/CS-G (GSE) showed the highest antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) and Listeria monocytogenes (Gram-positive) bacteria. The PVA/CS-CGA composite film, reinforced with CNCs/GSE/Aronia extract, showed the highest UV-barrier (95.5%), highest antioxidant activity (95%), potent antimicrobial activity, pH-sensitivity, lowest water vapor permeability (WVP), and desirable mechanical properties. The multifunctional properties of the produced composite films encourage their use as active and intelligent food packaging films to extend shelf life and monitor food quality.