University of Oulu

Gabriela S. Lorite, João M. Rocha, Noora Miilumäki, Paula Saavalainen, Tuula Selkälä, Gabriel Morales-Cid, M.P. Gonçalves, Eva Pongrácz, Cristina M.R. Rocha, Geza Toth, Evaluation of physicochemical/microbial properties and life cycle assessment (LCA) of PLA-based nanocomposite active packaging, LWT, Volume 75, 2017, Pages 305-315, ISSN 0023-6438,

Evaluation of physicochemical/microbial properties and life cycle assessment (LCA) of PLA-based nanocomposite active packaging

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Author: Lorite, Gabriela S.1; Rocha, João M.2; Miilumäki, Noora1,3;
Organizations: 1Microelectronics Research Unit, P.O. Box 4500, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Finland
2REQUIMTE, LAQV, Departamento de Engenharia Química, Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465, Porto, Portugal
3Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, P.O.Box 4300, FI 90014, University of Oulu, Finland
4Environmental and Chemical Engineering Research Unit, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014, University of Oulu, Finland
5ANDALTEC, Centro Tecnológico del Plástico, Pol. Ind. Cañada de la Fuente, Calle Vílchez, s/n, 23600, Martos, Jaén, Spain
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-02-07


To attend the growing consumer demand for novel ready-to-eat fresh cut fruits packaging polylactic acid (PLA)-based active packaging was realized. The aim of these packaging is to provide an improved protection and even to extend their shelf-life. PLA-based active packaging was prepared by adding nanoclays and surfactants in its formulation. The evaluation of PLA-nanocomposite packaging was done in comparison to pristine PLA and conventional plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, PET) using fresh-cut melons. Physicochemical properties were investigated by the means of weight loss, visual appearance, pH, colour, and firmness. In addition, microbial profile was tested via microbiological assays. In order to evaluate the environmental impact of PLA-based active packaging compared to commonly used PET, life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted. In terms of physicochemical and antimicrobial properties, the results clearly showed that the presence of nanoclays and surfactants in the PLA formulations improved their performance, thus contributing to bring the characteristic and behaviour of PLA packages close to those of PET. Furthermore, assessment of life cycle environmental impacts indicated that PLA packaging with nanoclays had the highest environmental performance.

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Series: LWT. Food science and technology
ISSN: 0023-6438
ISSN-E: 1096-1127
ISSN-L: 0023-6438
Volume: 75
Pages: 305 - 315
DOI: 10.1016/j.lwt.2016.09.004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
218 Environmental engineering
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: This research was conducted within the Smart and sustainable food packaging utilizing flexible printed intelligence and materials technologies (SusFoFlex, grant agreement no. 289829) project, which was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The authors would like to thank all the project partners in SusFoFlex contributing to the data collection. LAQV received financial support from FCT/MEC through national funds and FEDER, under the Partnership Agreement PT2020 (reference UID/QUI/50006/2013– POCI/01/0145/FEDER/007265).
Copyright information: © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.