Antimicrobial Property of Sodium Alginate/TiO2 Nanocomposite Film
Erwin Oliver V. Fundador1*, Jessa Mae A. Villanueva1§,
Noreen Grace V. Fundador1, and Aleyla E. de Cadiz2
1Department of Food Science and Chemistry, College of Science and Mathematics,
University of the Philippines Mindanao, Mintal, Tugbok District, Davao City 8000 Philippines
2Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies,
College of Science and Mathematics, University of the Philippines Mindanao,
Mintal, Tugbok District, Davao City 8000 Philippines
§Philippine Science High School Southern Mindanao Campus,
Sto. Niño, Tugbok District, Davao City 8000 Philippines
Food poisoning outbreaks are commonly caused by bacterial contamination. These incidents can be minimized by using antimicrobial films that are suitable for use as packaging material. These films can be made by immobilizing an antibacterial agent to a non-toxic polymer matrix. Titanium dioxide (TiO2), when irradiated with ultraviolet light, produces free radicals capable of killing bacteria. Sodium alginate (SA) is an edible polymer taken from brown algae. Both TiO2 and SA are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an additive in food. Therefore, composites made from SA and TiO2 are considered safe. SA/TiO2 nanocomposite films can be activated by both fluorescent and black light lamps. As evidenced by the percent color removal of methylene blue, the photocatalytic activity appeared to be higher when exposed to black light. SA/TiO2 composite films were exposed to fluorescent and black light lamps for 5 h in the presence of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Under fluorescent lamps, the photocatalytic activity of the SA/TiO2 composite films was enough to at least inhibit the proliferation of both bacteria. However, exposure of the 5% SA/TiO2 composite film to black light resulted to a 0 log count for both bacteria. These results showed that SA/TiO2 composite films can therefore be used in the food industry as an antibacterial film.
Bacterial contamination is often the culprit in several food poisoning outbreaks. In the case of the durian candy that poisoned 2,000 people in the Philippines on Jul 2015, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria was reported as the etiologic agent (FDA 2015). Developing antibacterial films that are suitable for use in food packaging can minimize occurrence of food poisoning. This can be done by immobilizing an antibacterial agent to a polymer matrix. For use in packaging, both the polymer matrix and the antibacterial agent should be proven to be safe even when ingested. . . . read more
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