1
Chemists from RUDN University developed biodegradable antibacterial film for storing food

Chemists from RUDN University developed biodegradable antibacterial film for storing food

A team of chemists from RUDN University created an antibacterial coating for food products. The mixture consists of two components that are safe for human health and form a thin, non-toxic, and biodegradable film. The film has no color or flavor and can increase the shelf life of different products 2.5 to 8 times.

Food wraps are usually produced from chemical compounds based on synthetic polymers such as polyethylene and polypropylene. These materials are bad for the environment and take dozens, if not thousands of years to decompose. Naturally, a food coating should protect the food and contain no toxins that could contaminate it, but it is also important for it to decompose without a trace after being used. A team of chemists from RUDN University created such a coating from polysaccharides—natural macromolecules that are the building blocks of living organisms. Polysaccharides do not have a negative effect on health, are biodegradable and non-toxic.

The antibacterial coatings suggested by the team are based on chitosan, a polysaccharide that is found in carapaces of crabs or in lower fungi. Specifically, the chemists used two derivatives of chitosan: SC-Na, or chitosan succinyl sodium salt, and a compound of triazole, betaine, and chitosan (TBC). The latter possesses antibacterial properties comparable to those of modern-day antibiotics. According to the team, TBC nanoparticles embed into an SC-Na grid or matrix, creating a thin uniform film. It is much stronger than any of its individual components and lets less oxygen and steam in. In the course of the experiments, the scientists confirmed that the film is the most efficient when the SC-Na to TBC ratio is 1 to 1.

“We managed to obtain non-toxic chitosan derivatives with extraordinary antibacterial properties almost similar to those of commercial antibiotics and suggested that they could be used to increase film durability and antibacterial characteristics. We based our coating on SC-Na, a salt with high film-forming ability. Moreover, it is not toxic and works as an antioxidant, increasing the shelf life of food products. By changing the TBC/SC-Na ratio, we developed multifunctional food coatings with improved antibacterial, protective, and mechanical properties,” said Andreii Kritchenkov, a Candidate of Chemical Sciences, and a research assistant at the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, RUDN University.

To test their invention, the team put several bananas in the film for 10 days. In the course of the experiment, the scientists measured their weight, vitamin C content, and the level of carbon dioxide emission. After 10 days, these parameters were compared to the results from the control group that was kept without coating. Coated fruit turned out to have lost 3 times less weight and 8 times less vitamin C, and the frequency of their ’breathing’ was 2.6 times lower (i.e. metabolic processes that are associated with CO2 emissions slowed down).

Thanks to these properties, chitosan-based films can be used to store food products. After a film has been used, it will decompose without causing harm to the environment.

The article was published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life

Main Publications View all
15 Nov 2017
RUDN University scientists publish results of their scientific researches in highly-recognized in whole world and indexed in international databases journals (Web of Science, Scopus ect.). That, of course, corresponds to the high status of the University and its international recognition. Publications of June-September 2017 ( In Journals of categories Q1-Q3)
1218
30 Jan 2018
The conference on international arbitration, where law students from European universities simulate court proceedings and alternately defend the interests of the respondent and the orator.
821
Similar newsletter View all
31 Mar
RUDN University awards for specific areas of science and technology based on the results of 2021

Every year, RUDN University selects the best of the best in the field of science and innovation and encourages with a special reward. Since 2009, the Academic Council of the University has been awarding one reward in natural and technical sciences and the other one in social and humanitarian sciences. Both individual researchers and groups of authors can become laureates.

73
31 Mar
International Day of Women and Girls in Science: women scientists of the RUDN talk about their path to science

“Science is the basis of all progress that facilitates the life of mankind and reduces its suffering,” — Marie Sklodowska—Curie. A symbol of a woman’s success in science. The first scientist in the world — twice winner of the Nobel Prize.

316
31 Mar
RUDN University Mathematicians Create a Model for Queue Organizing with Self-Sustained Servers

RUDN University mathematicians proposed a model for optimizing the operation of queuing systems (from computer networks to stores). Unlike analogues, the servers in it are self-sustained. They can determine when to start and stop working themselves. Such a model can be useful, for example, for online taxi services and other systems where workers choose their own operating hours.

80
Similar newsletter View all