Recovery and Purification of Cutin from Tomato By-Products for Application in Hydrophobic Films

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Tomato pomace is a low-cost, renewable resource that has been studied for the extraction of the biopolyester cutin, which is mainly composed of long-chain hydroxy fatty acids. These are excellent building blocks to produce new hydrophobic biopolymers. In this work, the monomers of cutin were extracted and isolated from tomato pomace and utilized to produce cutin-based films. Several strategies for the depolymerization and isolation of monomeric cutin were explored. Strategies differed in the state of the raw material at the beginning of the extraction process, the existence of a tomato peel dewaxing step, the type of solvent used, the type of alkaline hydrolysis, and the isolation method of cutin monomers. These strategies enabled the production of extracts enriched in fatty acids (16-hydroxyhexadecanoic, hexadecanedioic, stearic, and linoleic, among others). Cutin and chitosan-based films were successfully cast from cutin extracts and commercial chitosan. Films were characterized regarding their thickness (0.103 ± 0.004 mm and 0.106 ± 0.005 mm), color, surface morphology, water contact angle (93.37 ± 0.31° and 95.15 ± 0.53°), and water vapor permeability ((3.84 ± 0.39) × 10−11 mol·m/m2·s·Pa and (4.91 ± 1.33) × 10−11 mol·m/m2·s·Pa). Cutin and chitosan-based films showed great potential to be used in food packaging and provide an application for tomato processing waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number261
Number of pages19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2023


  • chitosan-cutin blend films
  • cutin
  • fatty acids
  • food packaging
  • tomato pomace


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