Research Nugget

Selenium nanoparticles–enhanced potato starch film for active food packaging application

The prevention of food contamination during food processing is essential for food safety and quality. However, preservation approaches that are reliant on the addition of chemicals in food may have adverse effects on human health. Therefore, there is a need for alternative and effective food preservation methods.

A study co-funded by the National Research Foundation aimed to develop an alternative solution; a selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) enhanced potato starch nanocomposite film with improved antioxidant activity and antibacterial properties. The study also aimed to assess the suitability of the SeNPs-based packaging as an alternative candidate for food packaging material.

The researchers used commercially available reagents, with no additional refinement, that are starch from potatoes. They then used previously published methods to synthesise SeNPs and a modified method to develop the film.

The study found that the presence of SeNPs in the potato starch film enhanced its antioxidant activity compared to the control potato starch film without SeNPs. The addition of SeNPs into the potato starch film improved the antimicrobial property of the film against all the test microorganisms as opposed to control potato starch film without SeNPS.

The researchers concluded that the developed SeNPs potato starch nanocomposite film could “…potentially be used for active food packaging”. Their analysis also suggests that SeNPs potato starch nanocomposite film “…can be suitable for packaging acidic, hydrophilic (capable of mixing and interacting with water), as well as fatty food”.

Read to the full study here: