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Antimicrobial And Rheological Properties Of Chitosan As Affected By Extracting Conditions And Humidity Exposure

M. Arancibia, M. López-Caballero, M. Gómez-Guillén, M. Fernández-García, F. Fernández-Martín, P. Montero
Published 2015 · Chemistry

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Abstract The antimicrobial activity of differently processed chitosans, of varying molecular weights (Mw v  = 5600–690 kDa) and deacetylation degrees (DD = 77–86 %), was tested against 26 microorganisms. Chitosan solutions and films were prepared by solubilizing chitosan with lactic acid without adding plasticizers. Films with different water activity (a w ) were prepared by varying either drying time or relative humidity during film conditioning. In dilute solution (1 g/100 g, w/w), chitosan inhibited the growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, of which the most sensitive was Debaromyces hansenii . High antimicrobial activity was found in chitosans with different molecular weights and similar deacetylation degree (ChQ4: 1600 kDa, 82% DD; ChR2: 2200 kDa, 81% DD; ChR4: 830 kDa, 83% DD). The films obtained from these chitosans were more effective when they were physically similar to coatings as a result of the increased a w , allowing diffusion of the active amino groups; moreover, this activity was further augmented at the more acidic pH. The superior rheological properties of the ChQ4 chitosan (1600 kDa, 82% DD) would also confer high mechanical resistance, which makes it a versatile option for the development of antimicrobial coatings to be used for a wide range of food applications.
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