Development of food packaging bioactive aerogels through the valorization of Gelidium sesquipedale seaweed
Jean Paulode Oliveira, Graziella Pinheiro Bruni, Maria José Fabra, Elessandrada Rosa Zavareze, AmparoLópez-Rubio, Marta Martínez-Sanz
This study presents the valorization of theGelidium sesquipedaleseaweed for the development of bioactiveaerogelswith interest in food packaging applications. The raw seaweed was used to extractcellulose, highly
crystalline (Xc∼70%) and high aspect ratio (∼40)nanocelluloseand an agar-based extract, rich inpolyphenolsand withantioxidant
capacity. Subsequently, pure PVA and hybrid aerogels containing cellulose and nanocellulose were produced by a
physical cross-linking method. The presence of hydroxyl groups provided by the high aspect ratio of nanocellulose promoted the interactions with water and facilitated the accessibility of
moisture towards the interior of the aerogels, hence generating high watersorptioncapacity materials.
The agar-based extract was then incorporated into selected formulations and the release in hydrophobic and hydrophilic food simulant media was investigated. Pure PVA aerogels dissolved in
aqueous media, resulting in an immediate release of the bioactive. Interestingly, the hybrid aerogels containing cellulose and nanocellulose preserved their integrity and provided a more
gradual release. Although the hybrid aerogels presented similar release profiles during the first 48 h, the presence of nanocellulose led to greater release values after more prolonged
times. This shows the promising properties of hybrid PVA/cellulose/nanocellulose aerogels as matrices for the controlled release ofbioactive
compoundsin food systems, which could be of interest for the development of bioactive packaging structures.