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Influence Of Chitosan Addition On The Mechanical And Antibacterial Properties Of Carrot Cellulose Nanofibre Film

Monika Szymańska-Chargot, Monika Chylińska, Giorgia Pertile, Piotr M. Pieczywek, Krystian J. Cieślak, Artur Zdunek, Magdalena Frąc

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Abstract Films of carrot cellulose nanofibrils (CCNFs) with the addition of low-viscosity chitosan (CHIT) were prepared by the vacuum filtration. The chitosan content in the films varied from 9 to 33% (dry wt. basis). The surface morphology of the films was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, and it was found that chitosan was dispersed in the CCNF matrix. The interaction between CCNFs and CHIT was evaluated in terms of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The obtained results suggested physical interactions rather than hydrogen bonding between CCNFs and CHIT. This finding also supports the results of the water wettability experiment. The addition of chitosan to the nanocellulose matrix causes an increase in the water contact angle, i.e., the surface of the composites becomes more hydrophobic. This increase is probably connected to an interaction between nanocellulose and chitosan forming a denser structure. Analyses of thermal properties showed that the composites are stable under high temperature, and the degradation occurred above 300 °C. It was found that the addition of CHIT to CCNF matrices caused a decrease in the Young’s modulus—the higher that the concentration of chitosan in the composite was, the lower the Young’s modulus (decreased from 14.71 GPa for CCNFs to 8.76 GPa for CCNF/CHIT_5). Additionally, the tensile strength of composites, i.e., the maximum force that causes a fracture decreased after the addition of chitosan (decreased from 145.83 MPa for CCNFs to 129.43 MPa for CCNF/CHIT_5). The results indicated the highest inhibitory effect of the investigated composites against E. coli and S. epidermidis. Whereas M. luteus was inhibited only by the higher concentration of chitosan in the tested composites, inhibition was not found against C. krissii and all tested filamentous fungi. Graphic abstract