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Project Number23-26-00056

Project titleIntelligent Biodegradable Food Packaging Material

Project LeadNatalia Eremeeva

AffiliationITMO University,

Implementation period 2023 - 2024 

Research area 06 - AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, 06-301 - Food technology

KeywordsIntelligent packaging, metal nanoparticles, vegetable dyes, shelf life, antibacterial activity



Food products are very vulnerable to contamination caused by microbial pathogens, which can lead to foodborne illness. Previously, plastic packaging materials were often used to protect against pathogenic infection while extending the shelf life of food products. However, there is still controversy about the use of plastic due to its non-degradable nature and environmental toxicity. Biopolymer based materials have recently gained attention in the food industry as an alternative due to their non-toxic nature. Particularly promising is the combination of polysaccharides of plant and animal origin, such as pectin, alginate and chitosan. The inclusion of various components in the formulation of the packaging allows you to create not only environmentally friendly, but also functional materials. Thus, of particular interest are metal nanoparticles, which, even at small amounts, have bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties. Product quality indicators are introduced as new generation packaging components. Such components can be pigments, including those of plant origin, capable of capturing chemical changes associated with the growth of microorganisms in food products in order to provide information about their quality and safety for consumer decision making. The identification of such processes is simple, because there is a change in the color of the packaging material. Active packaging can also release antioxidant compounds and prevent oxidation in foods. Thus, the project aims to solve the scientific problem associated with the development of a biodegradable, active, intelligent food film based on bioplasticizers, nanocomponents and natural dyes. The resulting composite film will be studied for its ability to inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens, as well as to identify spoilage processes during food storage, which will prolong their shelf life and reduce the risks of foodborne infections and human poisoning. The scientific novelty of the research is due to the fact that within the framework of the project there will be: - by the method of "green" synthesis, zinc oxide nanoparticles were obtained using plant extracts as bioreactors, their physicochemical and antioxidant properties, biological activity, including antibacterial against CGB, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E.coli were studied; - technological characteristics and recipe composition of biodegradable active intelligent film materials were developed with the inclusion of metal nanoparticles as an antibacterial component, plant pigments as a visual marker of changes in the chemical composition of the product and natural plasticizers; - the physical and functional properties of packaging films have been studied, including the micromorphological structure and mechanical, barrier properties, pH sensitivity, antibacterial properties, which will expand the scope of practical application; - the influence of nanocomposite intellectual film on the process of storing food products, including semi-finished meat products, was studied.

Expected results
The implementation of the project involves obtaining a set of scientific results: - the technique of "green" synthesis of metal nanoparticles in the matrix of extracts from plant materials with specified sizes and shapes; - database of biologically active substances extracts from plant materials, such as tansy, astral membranous and sweet clover, as well as biologically active substances that exhibit antibacterial action against BGKP, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli; - synthesis parameters: time, temperature, pH and some other factors for the formation of zinc oxide nanoparticles; - patterns of the process of formation of biosynthesized nanoparticles by reduction and stabilization by chemical components of plant origin, as well as the mechanism of synthesis of nanoparticles and its effect on their shape and size for various applications; - a method for obtaining a biologically active extract of pigments from plant materials (chokeberry, beetroot, red grapes); - patterns of indicators of spectral characteristics of extracts from plant materials depending on pH, ammonia content and temperature indicators; - technology and recipe composition of an intelligent film with the inclusion of metal nanoparticles, plant pigments and natural plasticizers. The project is aimed at developing a new topic for the scientific team to create an intelligent bio-packaging material with the inclusion of functional components in the formulation, which will not only increase the shelf life of food products, but also identify their spoilage during storage. The scientific significance for the development of new scientific topics is due to the following: The solution of the identified scientific problem will provide the creation of a new type of intelligent active biodegradable film capable of reducing the risk of foodborne pathogens by suppressing the growth of microorganisms, reducing the rate of oxidative processes and controlling the change in pH of products, which is a consequence of irreversible changes. Developed in the course of solving the indicated scientific problem, the methods for obtaining the main components of a biofilm, the technology and formulation of intelligent packaging with active components will lead to the expansion of the boundaries of applicability of existing results in the field of safety and quality control of food raw materials and finished products. The development of scientific topics will find application in various industries. The practical significance of the project lies in the development and implementation of a domestic competitive technology for the production of active intelligent biopackaging. The social significance of the project is due to the possibility of reducing the risk of microbiological contamination of food products during storage, which will ultimately provide the population with safe food. The introduction of composite biofilm into production will contribute to the protection of the environment. Nanoparticles are used as carriers to introduce antibacterial agents, antioxidants, anti-aging agents and other bioactive materials to increase shelf life even after opening the package. The use of nanoparticulate compositions in food packaging also acts as a barrier to gases or moisture and thus reduces food spoilage and drying, i. increase their life cycle. A visual indicator in the form of a natural pigment in the packaging informs the consumer about the quality of the product used, thereby minimizing the risks of food poisoning and, as a result, the costs associated with them. The results of successful research will be available to both large companies and small food industry enterprises. The creation of packaging materials of a new generation of domestic origin will support the policy of import substitution and resource conservation operating in the territory of the Russian Federation.



Annotation of the results obtained in 2023
In the first year of the project, the main task was to obtain packaging components responsible for active and intellectual properties and study their properties. The active properties of the packaging will be given by zinc oxide nanoparticles. Pigments obtained from vegetable raw materials will be responsible for the intellectual properties of the film. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (NPS) were obtained by the biological "green" method. A method for obtaining zinc oxide nanoparticles in a matrix of plant extracts rich in phenolic compounds has been selected. Such plant raw materials are tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.), membranous astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus) and medicinal clover (Melilotus officinalis). Analyses were carried out to quantify the content of phenolic substances and flavonoids in extracts obtained from plant raw materials. The antioxidant activity by the DPPH method and the iron-reducing antioxidant ability by the FRAP method were studied. Various conditions for the production of low-frequency zinc oxide with plant extracts have been studied. Data have been obtained that changes in the raw materials for the production of plant extract, zinc salt concentration, pH and temperature affect the possibility of obtaining and yield of low-frequency zinc oxide. The results of the study showed that the following conditions are optimal: an aqueous extract of tansy, a 25% solution of zinc sulfate, pH 5.7-5.9, temperature 55 °C, 1 hour. The obtained zinc oxide nanoparticles were characterized using UV-visible spectroscopy (UV-VIS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM). NPS zinc oxide obtained by the method of "green" chemistry showed antimicrobial activity, especially pronounced at a concentration of zinc oxide nanoparticles in a colloidal solution of 500 micrograms/ml. The prolonged bactericidal effect of nanoscale zinc oxide particles was also revealed. It was found that when zinc oxide nanoparticles were diffused into the nutrient agar from wells for 24-48 hours, its antimicrobial effect persists for a long time even after the samples were removed from the wells. Microbial growth was not observed in the growth retardation zone and at the site of nanoscale zinc oxide particles removed from the sample wells, which indicates the advantages of using NPS zinc oxide obtained in this study as an antibacterial agent. The next stage of the project was to obtain natural pigments from the fruits of mountain ash, beetroot, red grapes, as well as to determine the conditions and expiration dates. Based on experimental data, technological modes of the process of obtaining pigments from the fruits of mountain ash, beetroot, and red were selected: extraction with water under ultrasonic radiation, at a temperature of 40 ° C, 120 minutes and further concentration to a dry matter content of 65%. Each of the extracts is characterized by organoleptic, physico-chemical, antioxidant properties and microbiological parameters. The recommended shelf life of pigments is 12 months. at a temperature of 4-7 ° C, without access to light and air. The dependence of the color pigments of mountain ash, beetroot and red grapes on changes in the pH of the environment, as well as the presence of ammonia in the environment, has been studied and described. Optical absorption spectra of extracts in the UV and visible regions are characterized.



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2. Eremeeva N.B. Nanoparticles of metals and their compounds in films and coatings: A review Foods and Raw Materials, № 1, Т. 12, С. 60-79 (year - 2024)