Gelatin films were prepared from gelatin solutions (10% w/v) containing carvacrol (1%, 2%, 3%, 4% and 5% w/w), glycerol (25% w/w) as plasticizer and glutaraldehyde (1% w/w) as cross-linker. The mechanical, water solubility, water swelling, water uptake, water vapor permeability, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of the films were obtained according to American Society for Testing and Materials. Gelatin films exhibited good tensile strength, elongation at break, water solubility, swelling, water uptake and water vapor permeability. Incorporation of carvacrol into the gelatin films caused a significant decrease in tensile strength, increase in elongation at break, increase in water solubility, decrease in swelling and water uptake, and increase in water vapor permeability of the films. Gelatin films exhibited low antioxidant activity while, gelatin films incorporated with carvacrol exhibited excellent antioxidant properties. The films incorporated with carvacrol also exhibited excellent antibacterial properties against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Practical Application

Development of biodegradable films based on the protein polymer has become a very attractive option and production of protein based packaging with strong antioxidant and antibacterial activities is gradually obtained extensive concern in the world. In this study, the improvement of gelatin film properties incorporated with carvacrol as a potential antibacterial active packaging was investigated. Suitable physico-mechanical properties along with strong antioxidant and antibacterial effects make gelatin films incorporated with carvacrol as suitable food packaging material.