In this research, antimicrobial polysaccharide chitosan was used as a surface coating for packaging material. The aim of our research was to establish an additive formulation of chitosan and antioxidative plant extracts as dispersion of nanoparticles. Chitosan nanoparticles with embedded thyme, rosemary and cinnamon extracts were synthesized, and characterized for this purpose. Two representative, commercially used foils, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), previously activated by UV/ozone to improve coating adhesion, were functionalized using chitosan-extracts nanoparticle dispersions. The foils were coated by two layers. A solution of macromolecular chitosan was applied onto foils as a first layer, followed by the deposition of various extracts embedded into chitosan nanoparticles that were attached as an upper layer. Since active packaging must assure bioactive efficiency at the interface with food, it is extremely important to understand the surface characteristics and phenomena of functionalized foils. The physico-chemical analyses of functionalized foils were thus comprised of surface elemental composition, surface charge, wettability, as well as surface morphology. It has been shown that coatings were applied successfully with an elemental composition, surface charge and morphology that should enable coating stability, homogeneity and consequently provide an active concept of the packaging surface in contact with food. Moreover, the wettability of foils was improved in order to minimize the anti-fogging behavior.
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