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How Does PVA Film Contribute to Reducing Food Waste?

PVA Film Contribute to Reducing Food Waste

PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) is a polymer that has numerous applications in the production of packaging materials. It is non-toxic and biodegradable, and it offers a wide range of physical and mechanical properties, including good barrier characteristics and resistance to grease, oil, and solvents. It also provides an aroma barrier and has good moisture stability. It is also strong, flexible, and durable, and it is able to protect foodstuffs from microbiological contamination.

It is also highly recyclable, and it can be used to produce a range of new products. For example, it can be combined with cellulose nanocrystals or graphene to create biocomposite films. These films have higher tensile strength and elongation at break than pure pva film. They also have better antibacterial properties to the bacteria Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Additionally, they are very good for use in food and pharmaceutical applications.

In order to improve the physical and mechanical properties of PVA films, many researchers have tried to modify it with various additives. These include single nano-fill modification, polymer co-blend modification, and chemical cross-linking modification. These techniques are widely used in the field of film processing because they can provide a synergistic effect and enhance performance.

How Does PVA Film Contribute to Reducing Food Waste?

Another method to enhance the water resistance of PVA is by esterification. In this case, stearic acid is added to the PVA to esterify some of the hydroxyl groups, forming an -OOC(CH2)16CH3 group on the side chain of the molecule. This modification increases the hydration energy of the molecule, which improves its water resistance.

Despite the fact that PVA is generally regarded as biodegradable, some organizations like Plastic Oceans International have sounded the alarm. This is because wastewater that contains PVA may disturb aquatic life and soil conditions, and it could also absorb heavy metals. Moreover, PVA residue can also become a microplastic and put marine life at risk, much like many other man-made plastics that are ingested by sea creatures.

To reduce the impact of PVA on the environment, it is important to know how and where it is used. PVA can be found in a range of food and cosmetic products, such as cocoa seasoning or pre-measured packets of whey protein powder, favoured by fitness enthusiasts to build muscle mass. In addition, it can be found in the manufacturing of water bottles and reusable coffee cups.

The research on the modification of PVA is ongoing, and there are many promising applications for this material in the future. It can be combined with a wide variety of additives to produce films that are customised for specific applications and meet the requirements of green development and the “plastic ban”. For example, starch, gelatin, chitosan, and cellulose nanocrystals are among the most popular reinforcements. They can increase the ductility of the PVA, while cellulose nanocrystals have excellent water resistance and can reinforce the mechanical properties of the PVA. Moreover, the antibacterial and anti-oxidation properties of these materials make them suitable for food packaging.

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