Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

Electrospinning widespread application in biomedical, chemical and food

Electrospinning is a novel cost effective technique for manufacturing
nanofibers from a broad range of materials likely to be used as a coating film. In this project, pectin and
chitosan solutions containing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) were prepared and
simultaneously electrospun with separate syringes for the first time. The antimicrobial and physical
properties of the novel chitosan/PVA-pectin/PVA nanofibrous film were evaluated
using different analysis techniques such as disc diffusion assay, scanning
electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), viscosity and
conductivity tests, and fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The
images of SEM and TEM could prove the formation of the films in the scale of
nano. The results showed that simultaneously electrospun dispersion of
chitosan/PVA (50:50) with pectin/PVA (50:50) leading to the formation of thin
nanofibers with the least beads. The results of FTIR proposed the
dispersion of chitosan and PVA in nanofiber mats and the interaction of
chitosan with pectin and PVA with pectin. Disc diffusion assay showed that nanofilm
could possess a significant antibacterial activity against S. aureus at
37?C but showed no effects against E. coli. Based on the
results of this study, the novel chitosan/PVA-pectin/PVA nanofibrous film can be
considered as a novel coating film for promising application in future food


Keywords: Electrospinning; Pectin; Chitosan; PVA; Nanofiber.

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1.     Introduction

In recent years, studies and developments in the area of food
packaging have focused on bio-based functional packaging materials, sometimes
incorporating natural active compounds and ingredients (Leceta, Guerrero, &
de la Caba, 2013; van den Broek, Knoop, Kappen, & Boeriu, 2015; Madureira,
Pereira, & Pintado, 2015). Bio-based packaging materials consisting antioxidants
and antimicrobials have become popular since oxidation, deterioration and
microbial contamination are the major phenomena threaten food quality and

Chitosan (1–4 linked 2-amino-deoxy-?-D-glucan) is a
functional biopolymer possesses significant antimicrobial and antioxidant properties
with high potential to develop biodegradable active packages (Fernandez-Saiz,
Lagaron, & Ocio, 2009; Guoa et al., 2015; van den Broek et al., 2015). This
biopolymer is a linear cationic polysaccharide prepared from chitin, found in
shells of marines such as shrimp, lobster and crab. It
has widespread application in biomedical, chemical and food industries due to
its antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, biodegradability, high water
permeability, low toxicity and susceptibility to chemical modifications
(Kaushik et al., 2008; Munteanu et al., 2014). Chitosan could prevent the
growth of wide varieties of fungi, pathogenic bacteria and spoilage
microorganisms (Ravi Kumar, 2000; Dutta, Tripathi, Mehrotra, & Dutta,
2009). The molecular weight (MW) and the degree of deacetylation
determine the antimicrobial activity of chitosan (Shahidi, Arachchi, &
Jeon, 1999; Chi, 2004). Chitosan may dissolve in various organic acids, then
undergo drying process, being prepared to form flexible, clear and tough films with
compatible oxygen barrier properties (Caner, Vergano, &Wiles, 1998;
Bourtoom, 2008). In 2001, chitosan has been classified as a safe component by
FDA, thus being extensively used in food industry (Sagoo, Board, and Roller,
2002; Friedman and Juneja, 2010). For example, chitosan has been used for
direct surface coating of meat and fruit products to reduce food deterioration
and water loss, in addition to postpone the ripening of fruits (Hernández-Muñoz,
Almenar, Ocio, & Gavara, 2006; Aranaz et al., 2009).

Pectin, on the other hand, is an anionic natural
polysaccharide that is found in ripened fruits such as apples and plums. It has
been used as a cross-linking agent for cationic polymers, e.g. chitosan,
to form a polyelectrolyte complex. Chitosan cross-linked with pectin has been
shown to possess improved hydrophilicity, biocompatibility, and mechanical
strength, thus very efficient for drug delivery and tissue engineering purposes
(Coimbra et al., 2011; Luppi et al., 2010). Incorporation of chitosan with
pectin has resulted in a polyelectrolyte complex (PEC) at pH values in the
range of 3 to 6 (Meshali & Gabr,1993; Macleod, Collett & Fell, 1999). Pectin
and chitosan may also interact via hydrogen bonding at low pH
values (pH


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