Coffee grounds as filler for pectin: Green composites with competitive performances dependent on the UV irradiation

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Abstract

Novel composite bioplastics were successfully prepared by filling pectin matrix with treated coffee grounds. The amount of coffee dispersed into the pectin was changed within a wide filler range. The morphology of the pectin/coffee hybrid films was studied by microscopic techniques in order to investigate their mesoscopic structure as well as the sizes distribution of the particles dispersed into the matrix. The micrographs showed that the coffee grounds are uniformly dispersed within the polymeric matrix. The morphological characteristics of the biocomposite films were correlated to their properties, such as wettability, water uptake, thermal behavior and mechanical performances. Dynamic mechanical test were conducted as a function of the humidity conditions. As a general result, a worsening of the mechanical performances was induced by the addition of the coffee grounds into the pectin. An additional UV curing treatment was conducted on the pectin/coffee films with the aim to improve their tensile and viscoelastic features. The cured films showed promising and tunable properties that are dependent on both the filler content and the UV irradiation. In particular, the presence of single coffee particles into the pectin matrix renders the UV curing treatment effective in the enhancement of the elasticity as well as the traction resistance, whereas the cured composite films containing coffee clusters showed only more elastic characteristics. With this study, we fabricated pectin/coffee bioplastics with controlled behavior appealing for specific application within the food packaging. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-205
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Volume170
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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