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Packaging-related properties of alkyd-coated, wax-coated, and buffered chitosan and whey protein films



Packaging-related properties of coated films of chitosan–acetic acid salt and whey protein concentrate (WPC) were studied. Chitosan (84.7% degree of deacetylation) and WPC (65–67% protein) were solution cast to films. These films are potential oxygen barriers for use in packaging. Coatings of wax or alkyds were used to enhance the water-barrier properties. The packaging-related properties of chitosan films treated in a buffering solution, with a pH of 7.8, were also investigated. The coated films were characterized with respect to Cobb absorbency, overall migration to water, water vapor transmission rate, and oxygen permeability. The creasability and bending toughness were determined. The wax was a more efficient barrier to liquid water and 90–95% relative humidity than the alkyd. However, the alkyd-coated material had superior packaging-converting properties. The alkyd-coated WPC and chitosan–salt films were readily folded through 180° without any visible cracks or delamination. The overall migration from the alkyd-coated materials was below the safety limit, provided the coat weight was higher than 7.5 mg/cm2 on WPC and 2.1 mg/cm2 on chitosan–salt. The barrier properties of chitosan film under moist conditions were improved by the buffer treatment. However, the buffering also resulted in shrinkage of the film. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 91: 60–67, 2004