Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Composite Polyethylene Materials Reinforced with Neem and Turmeric

Version 1 : Received: 2 November 2020 / Approved: 3 November 2020 / Online: 3 November 2020 (13:58:22 CET)

How to cite: Sunthar, T.; Marin, E.; Boschetto, F.; Zanocco, M.; Sunahara, H.; Ramful, R.; Kamei, K.; Zhu, W.; Pezzotti, G. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Composite Polyethylene Materials Reinforced with Neem and Turmeric. Preprints 2020, 2020110149 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0149.v1). Sunthar, T.; Marin, E.; Boschetto, F.; Zanocco, M.; Sunahara, H.; Ramful, R.; Kamei, K.; Zhu, W.; Pezzotti, G. Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties of Composite Polyethylene Materials Reinforced with Neem and Turmeric. Preprints 2020, 2020110149 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0149.v1).

Abstract

With the increased scientific interest in green technologies, many researches have been focused on the production of polymeric composites containing naturally occurring reinforcing particles. Apart from increasing mechanical properties, these additions can have a wide range of interesting effects, such as increasing the resistance to bacterial and fungal colonization. In this work, different amounts of two different natural products, namely neem and turmeric, have been added to polyethylene to act as a natural antibacterial and antifungal product for food packaging applications. Microscopic and spectroscopic characterization showed that fractions up to 5% of these products can be dispersed into low-molecular weight polyethylene, while higher amounts could not be properly dispersed and resulted in an inhomogeneous, fragile composite. In vitro testing conducted with Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans showed a reduced proliferation of pathogens when compared to the polyethylene references. In particular, turmeric, resulted to be more effective against E. coli when compared to neem, while they had similar performances against S. aureus. Against C. albicans, only neem was able to show a good antifungal behavior, at high concentrations. Tensile testing showed that the addition of reinforcing particles reduces the mechanical properties of polyethylene, and, in the case of turmeric, it is further reduced by UV irradiation.

Subject Areas

turmeric; neem; antibacterial; antifungal; polyethylene

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