Abstract: Puree prepared from over-ripe peeled bananas was used as raw material for films processing in a laboratory padder. Pectin and glycerol as plasticizer were added in small concentrations and chitosan nanoparticles (88.79 ± 0.42 nm medium size) incorporated at 0.2% (dry weight basis) as reinforcement material. The mechanical properties, water vapor transmission, thermal stability, and scanning electron microscopy of fractured film surfaces were characterized. Both pectin and glycerol demonstrated an important role in promoting elongation and film handability as was expected. The incorporation of nanoparticles promoted noticeable improvement of the mechanical properties and acted in reducing the water vapor permeation rate, by 21% for films processed with pectin and up to 38% for films processed without pectin, when compared to the control (puree films with no pectin and nanoparticles additions). Microscopic observation revealed a denser matrix when nanoparticles are incorporated into the films.
Practical Application: The development of films from fruit purees head to a new strategy for plastic processing from natural resources. The over-ripe or even waste banana can be adequately prepared for batch films processed with reasonable mechanical and barrier properties, suitable for applications in the food segment. The addition of small fractions of chitosan nanoparticles, form nanocomposites enhancing mechanical and thermal stability broadening potential film applications.