• agar;
  • antimicrobial activity;
  • nanocomposite films;
  • organoclays;
  • physical properties

Abstract:  Agar-based nanocomposite films with different types of nanoclays, such as Cloisite Na+, Cloisite 30B, and Cloisite 20A, were prepared using a solvent casting method, and their tensile, water vapor barrier, and antimicrobial properties were tested. Tensile strength (TS), elongation at break (E), and water vapor permeability (WVP) of control agar film were 29.7 ± 1.7 MPa, 45.3 ± 9.6%, and (2.22 ± 0.19) × 10−9 g·m/m2·s·Pa, respectively. All the film properties tested, including transmittance, tensile properties, WVP, and X-ray diffraction patterns, indicated that Cloisite Na+ was the most compatible with agar matrix. TS of the nanocomposite films prepared with 5% Cloisite Na+ increased by 18%, while WVP of the nanocomposite films decreased by 24% through nanoclay compounding. Among the agar/clay nanocomposite films tested, only agar/Cloisite 30B nanocomposite film showed a bacteriostatic function against Listeria monocytogenes.