Novel bionanocomposite films of chitosan/montmorillonite (CS/MMT) activated with ginger essential oil (GEO) were produced and characterized in terms of their physical and morphological properties. The homogenization process led to a good interaction between the chitosan and the nanoparticles, however the exfoliation was diminished when GEO was incorporated. Film glass transition temperature did not statistically change with the incorporation of either MMT or GEO, however the value was slightly reduced, representing a relaxation in the polymer chain which corroborated with the mechanical and barrier properties results. Pristine chitosan films showed excellent barrier properties to oxygen with a permeability of 0.184 × 10-16 mol/m·s·Pa being reduced to half (0.098 × 10-16 mol/m·s·Pa) when MMT was incorporated. Although the incorporation of GEO increased the permeability values to 0.325 × 10-16 mol/m·s·Pa when 2% of GEO was integrated, this increment was smaller with both MMT and GEO (0.285 × 10-16 mol/m·s·Pa). Bionanocomposites also increased the UV light barrier. Thus, the produced bioplastics demonstrated their ability to retard oxidative processes due to their good barrier properties, corroborating previous results that have shown their potential in the preservation of foods with high unsaturated fat content.
- Biobased polymers