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Iranian researchers produced a new type of clay-titanium oxide nanocomposite films which improve the blocking properties of normal polyethylene films, control the production of polyethylene, postpone the aging, reduce pollutions after harvesting the products and increase the durability of agricultural products.
Reducing or preventing the effects of microorganisms that cause decay and slowing the physicochemical events and products' respiration rate are among the major parameters in increasing the durability period and the quality preservation after the harvest of garden products. The presence of titanium dioxide nanoparticles in the structure of composite films gives photocatalytic characteristics to the films, which control the amount of ethylene production and microbial population in the packed products during the preservation time.
In the first phase of the research, the packaging nanocomposite films were synthesized through melting reaction process method by using these nanoparticles. In the second phase, the researchers evaluated the appearance as well as the physical, chemical and microbiological parameters of the packed apricots. Desirable results were obtained from the research, which showed that addition of nanoparticles to the matrix of polyethylene polymer modifies its mechanical, thermal and rheological properties in comparison to normal polyethylene matrices. In addition, the permeability of nanocomposite films decreases as the amount of clay increases in the polymeric matrix.
According to Bodaqi, one of the researchers of the study, the present research can be introduced as an industrial method, taking into account the production of nanocomposite films through melting reaction process method.
Results of the research have been published in LWT - Food Science and Technology, vol. 50, issue 2, pp. 702-706.
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