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Biodegradable packaging material coated with antimicrobial agent


Key words Paper, fibrous, substrate, coating, bio-polymer, antimicrobial, volatile agent, essential oil, textile, packaging
Latest version 2013/09/05
Completed by INRA - IATE

How does it work?

Primary objective Protect products against the activity or development of microorganisms.
Working principle This technology is based on the antimicrobial activity of some essential oils, and the way to implement this property into biodegradable packaging materials. (1)

Materials based on a fibrous (woven or non-woven) substrate are coated with a matrix. The coating matrix is made of one or more biodegradable polymers that allow the controlled emission of one ore more volatile antimicrobial agents (essential oils or molecules extracted from essential oils).

The essential oils or their extracts are released depending on the humidity rate of the inside atmosphere of the package. As a consequence, the package is adaptable to a various range of products and conditions: the higher the humidity rate is, the more microorganisms are likely to proliferate (favourable growth condition), but also the more antimicrobial agents are released, limiting the microorganism growth. (2,3,4,6)

The principle is conversely applicable for a lower humidity rate. (5)

Additional effects Some essential oils have an antioxidant activity in addition to their antimicrobial activity.
Important process parameters Mainly relative humidity (water is the trigger to antimicrobial agent release)
Important product parameters

What can it be used for?

Products Fresh edible products (fruits, mushrooms, vegetables, cheese, composite food, etc.)

Fresh cut flowers, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products

Operations Packaging
Solutions for short comings biodegradable product

renewable resources


Extended/longer/improved shelf life; reduction of salt and sugar content ; using of environmentally friendly materials ; higher product safety ; application of modified atmosphere packaging ; avoiding additives ; reducing energy for cooling ; meat préservation ; shelf life of pre-baked bread ; postharvest processing of fruits ; development of current organic food production techniques ; biodegradable packages with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties

What can it NOT be used for?

Products Liquid products
Operations Any other operation than packaging
Other limitations - Some essential oils are under use restriction (particularly cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon) because of their toxicity threshold.

- In the case of gluten based materials, the presence of gluten should be notified for gluten allergic people even if these gluten-based materials are not allergenic at contact and are not supposed to be ingested.

Risks or hazards Some people might be allergic to one or more essential oils.


Maturity A patent has been registered.

Currently it is not exploited.

It is only available at labscale while some process steps have been tested at pre-industrial scale.

Modularity /Implementation The fabrication process replaces a part of production line.
Consumer aspects No information currently available
Legal aspects A patent has been registered in 2007 for the french territory (1)

Please check local legislation for admitted essential oils thresholds

Environmental aspects Use of renewable ressources

Biodegradable material

Further Information

Institutes UMII - IATE, INRA - GMPA, AgroSup Dijon - PAM, UMII - ATA, University of Zaragoza
Companies Paper industries (they have all the equipment needed to exploit the mentionned patent)warning.png
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References (1) Ben Afra A., Chalier P., Gontard N. and Preziosi-Belloy L., 2007. Matériaux ‡ base d'un support fibreux, tissé ou non, enduit d'une matrice, contenant au moins un agent antimicrobien et procédé de fabrication. Patent FR 2900940 (A1)

(2) Ben Afra A.,Chrakabandhu Y., Chalier P., Preziosi-Belloy L. and Gontard N., 2007. Coating papers with soy protein isolates as inclusion matrix of carvacrol. Food Research Intern., 40, 22-32.

(3) Ben Afra A., Chalier P., Preziosi-Belloy L. and Gontard N., 2007. Antimicrobial Paper Based on a Soy Protein Isolate or Modified Starch Coating Including Carvacrol and Cinnamaldehyde. J. Agric. Food Chem., 55, 2155-2162.

(4) Chalier P., Ben Afra A., Preziosi-Belloy L.and Gontard N., 2007. Carvacrol losses from soy protein coated papers as a function of drying paper conditions J. Applied Polymer Science, 106, 611-620.

(5) Chalier P., Ben Afra A., Guillard V. and Gontard N., 2009. Moisture and temperature triggered release of a volatile agent from Soy protein coated paper. Effect of glass transition phenomena on carvacrol diffusion coefficient. J. Agric. Food Chem. 57, 658-665.

(6) Mascheroni E., Chalier P., Gontard N. and Gastaldi E., 2010. Designing of a wheat gluten /montmorillonite based system as carvacrol carrier : Rheological and structural properties Food Hydrocolloids, 24,406-413.

Mainly relative humidity (water is the trigger to antimicrobial agent release)

Packaging of solids 2.1.3 physical, chemical, biological packaging nanotechnology Interviews with the researchers of joint research unit UMII - IATE (Montpellier, France): Nathalie Gontard, Pascale Chalier, Valérie Guillard WikiSysop :Template:Review document :Template:Review status

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Created by Hte inra on 28 February 2012, at 14:02