Characterization of Hydrophobically Modified Titanium Dioxide Polylactic Acid Nanocomposite Films for Food Packaging Applications
MetadataShow full item record
Titanium dioxide (TiO2) polymer nanocomposites improve barrier properties to gas and moisture and mechanical strength as well as providing active packaging functions. However, low compatibility between hydrophilic TiO2 nanoparticles and hydrophobic polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) causes problems due to the tendency of TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2) to agglomerate and form large clusters. A surface modification of TiO2 with long chain fatty acid may improve the compatibility between PLA and TiO2. The goal of this study was to enhance barrier properties of oxygen and water vapor, mechanical strength and add light protecting function to PLA composites by incorporation of oleic acid modified TiO2 nanoparticles (OA_TiO2). The objectives of this study were: 1) synthesize TiO2 and modify surface of TiO2 with oleic acid, 2) investigate dispersion stability of TiO2 and OA_TiO2 in hydrophobic media, 3) incorporate TiO2 and OA_TiO2 into a PLA matrix and to characterize properties of TiO2PLA (T-PLA) and OA_TiO2 PLA nanocomposite films (OT-PLA), and 4) to determine stability of green tea infusion in T-PLA and OT-PLA packaging model systems during refrigerated storage at 4 °C under florescent lightening. TiO2 was synthesized by using a sol-gel method and the surface of TiO2 was modified by oleic acid using a one-step method. T-PLA and OT-PLA were prepared by solvent casting. TiO2 and OA_TiO2 were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermal analysis and dynamic light scattering. The barrier properties to oxygen and water vapor, morphology, mechanical properties, thermal stability and light absorption properties of T-PLA and OT-PLA were characterized. Dispersion of TiO2 was improved in PLA matrix by the surface modification method with oleic acid. OT-PLA had more effective improvements in the barrier properties and flexibility than T-PLA and PLA, but toughness of the films based on Young's modules of OT-PLA was lower than the T-PLA and the PLA. The OT-PLA may have a potential to be used as transparent, functional and sustainable packaging films, but limited use for complete visible and UV-light protection for photosensitized foods.
- Doctoral Dissertations