Characterization of PLA-limonene blends for food packaging applications

Autores UPV


Polymers derived from renewable resources are now considered as promising alternatives to traditional petro-polymers as they mitigate current environmental concerns (raw renewable materials/biodegradability). d-limonene can be found in a variety of citrus, indeed is the main component of citrus oils and one of most important contributors to citrus flavor. The incorporation of limonene in PLA matrix was evaluated and quantified by Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (Py- GC/MS). Transparent films were obtained after the addition of the natural compound. Mechanical properties were evaluated by tensile tests. The effect of limonene on mechanical properties of PLA films was characterized by an increase in the elongation at break and a decrease in the elastic modulus. The fracture surface structure of films was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and homogeneous surfaces were observed in all cases. Barrier properties were reduced due to the increase of the chain mobility produced by the d-limonene.