Home Chemistry Growth of chitin nanofiber coatings for prolonging shelf life and inhibiting bacterial progress on recent cucumbers

Growth of chitin nanofiber coatings for prolonging shelf life and inhibiting bacterial progress on recent cucumbers

Growth of chitin nanofiber coatings for prolonging shelf life and inhibiting bacterial progress on recent cucumbers


Chemical construction

Profitable deacetylation of ChNFs utilizing NaOH with varied remedy instances was evaluated utilizing FTIR (Fig. 2a). The height equivalent to intra- and intermolecular OH stretching occurred at 3450 cm−1, and NH stretching and NH secondary amide vibrations had been noticed from the peaks situated at 3257 and 3100 cm−1, respectively8,10,43,44. Moreover, doublets attributed to amide I (C=O stretching) had been discovered at 1655 and 1620 cm−1, and the amide II band (N–H bending) at 1555 cm−1 and amide III band (C–N stretching) at 1310 cm−1 had been noticed19,43,44,45. Notably, the absorption band associated to the existence of protein (⁓ 1420 cm−1) was not noticed in all ChNF supplies, suggesting that the a number of chemical remedy steps used herein may take away proteins and purify chitin particles10,19,44. Deacetylated ChNF samples (C120, C240, and C480) introduced a much less intense absorption band at 1655 cm−1 (associated to the amide construction) than the non-deacetylated ChNF pattern (C0). With growing deacetylation remedy time, the depth of this amide band decreased regularly, which was attributed to the conversion of acetamido teams in chitin molecules to amino teams. Notably, the amino band at ⁓ 1588 cm−1 was not noticed for the ChNFs owing to the robust domination of the amide I and II bands over the amino bands10,46. Nevertheless, with decrease DA values, the amino band shifted towards the next wavenumber resulting from lowered overlapping of the amide bands46.

Determine 2
figure 2

(a) Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and (b) 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) with totally different deacetylation remedy instances. (c) X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns, (d) crystallinity and crystal sizes, and (e) thermogravimetric (TG) and (f) by-product thermogravimetric (DTG) curves of ChNFs as a operate of the deacetylation remedy time.

Desk 1 presents the DAs of the ChNFs as a operate of the deacetylation remedy time. The primary resonance peaks of the chitin nanoparticles had been situated at 173.4 (C=O), 103.9 (C1), 82.9 (C4), 75.5 (C5), 73.2 (C3), 60.7 (C6), 54.9 (C2), and 22.6 ppm (CH3) (Fig. 2b). The DA of C0 was 95.3%. After remedy with 30% NaOH for 120 min, the DA of C120 significantly lowered to 76.2%, i.e., ⁓ 25% of acetamido teams had been transformed to amino teams. Gradual conversion of acetamido teams to amino teams was discovered with growing remedy time. Reductions in DA to 73.0% and 69.2% had been noticed for C240 and C480, respectively. The larger conversion through the preliminary deacetylation time was attributed to the deacetylation course of, which primarily interacted with the chitin floor earlier than penetrating the inside of the chitin fibril bundles32.

Desk 1 Diploma of acetylation (DA), diploma of crystallinity, crystal sizes, temperature at 1% weight reduction (T1%), and most degradation temperature (Tmax) of the chitin nanofibers (ChNFs) as a operate of the deacetylation remedy time.


Determine 2c reveals the XRD profiles and crystalline indexes of the deacetylated ChNFs. All ChNF samples had 5 typical diffraction peaks at 9.3°, 19.4°, 21.2°, 23.4°, and 26.5°, attributed to the [020], [110], [120], [130], and [013] lattice planes, respectively19,47. These attribute diffraction peaks had been in settlement with these of the α-chitin construction20,27,29. The crystallinity of C0 was 94.1%. Notably, the crystallinity index of chitin depends upon the uncooked supplies and chemical remedy steps utilized in its purification48,49. Moreover, the impact of deacetylation remedy time on the diploma of crystallinity of chitin was evaluated. Deacetylation time had no appreciable affect on the crystallinity of the ChNF supplies (Fig. 2d; Desk 1), which is likely to be as a result of deacetylation solely occurred on the chitin crystallite floor when low NaOH focus was used20,27.

Moreover, the crystal sizes of the [020] and [110] planes of the ChNF samples as a operate of the deacetylation time, calculated from the XRD profiles, are introduced in Fig. 2d. C0 had crystal sizes within the [020] and [110] planes of seven.8 and 5.5 nm, respectively. Each crystal sizes within the [020] and [110] planes decreased with growing deacetylation remedy time. The crystal sizes within the [020] and [110] planes of C240 had been 7.2 and 5.3 nm, respectively, whereas the crystal sizes within the [020] and [110] planes of C480 had been 7.1 and 5.3 nm, respectively. This indicated that the deacetylation response with longer processing time may yield ChNFs with smaller widths within the vary of 5–7 nm.

Thermal stability

The thermal stabilities of the deacetylated ChNFs had been investigated with respect to remedy time. The TG and by-product thermogravimetric (DTG) curves of the deacetylated ChNFs as a operate of remedy time are introduced in Fig. 2e and f. Usually, the preliminary thermal transition state happens at < 100 °C as a result of evaporation of water sure to chitin by hydroxyl and amino teams33,50. Nevertheless, this transition stage was not discovered within the TG curves of the ChNF samples as all ChNF samples had been held at 110 °C for 20 min to utterly take away water adsorbed or hydrogen-bonded with the chitin molecules50,51. The vast majority of chitin thermal degradation happens from 200 to 400 °C, attributed to chitin-chain depolymerization related to the thermal decomposition of pyranose rings through cleavage of the glycosidic linkages between N-glucosamine and N-acetyl glucosamine rings50,51. C0 introduced a single DTG peak with a most degradation temperature (Tmax) of 363 °C, whereas the deacetylated ChNFs confirmed the primary degradation temperature area at ⁓ 359 °C with a small crest at ⁓ 320 °C. The looks of the thermal degradation peak at ⁓ 320 °C was attributed to the degradation of 2-amino-2-deoxy-d-glucopyranose models52,53. With growing deacetylation time, the height situated at ⁓ 320 °C turned extra pronounced, however the depth of the second peak at ⁓ 359 °C lowered. This was as a result of excessive quantity of amino teams in chitin molecules, that are much less thermally steady than acetamido teams54.

Furthermore, the thermal stability of the deacetylated ChNF samples decreased with growing deacetylation remedy time owing to the excessive content material of amino teams within the chitin molecules (Desk 1). The thermal degradation temperature at 1% weight reduction (T1%) of C0 was 237.0 °C. After deacetylation remedy for 120 min, the T1% of C120 was significantly lowered to 225.3 °C. The lowered thermal degradation temperature of C120 was attributable to the partial conversion of acetamido teams to amino teams. Likewise, C240 and C480 exhibited T1% values of 222.6 °C and 220.2 °C, respectively. Moreover, a discount within the Tmax of ChNFs occurred with the introduction of deacetylation. The Tmax values of C0 and C120 had been 363.6 °C and 359.5 °C, respectively. Nevertheless, no important change in Tmax was noticed with growing deacetylation processing time. Moreover, the next content material of char residues at 800 °C (> 24.0%) was noticed within the deacetylated ChNFs, in contrast with the non-deacetylated ChNFs (C0) (13.5%). This occurred due to the upper quantity of amino teams out there within the deacetylated chitin constructions55. Subsequently, a spotlight of our future work can be the applying of deacetylated ChNFs as a reinforcing agent in polymeric matrixes for enhanced mechanical and flame-retardant properties55,56.

Suspension stability and floor prices

The impact of deacetylation remedy time on the suspension stability of ChNFs was studied. Determine 3 presents the soundness of the ChNF suspensions with totally different storage instances. The C0 suspension (with out deacetylation) confirmed fast precipitation after 10 min, whereas noticeable sedimentation of C120 was noticed after storing it at room temperature for 4 h. Clear precipitation of C240 was noticed after 7 days, however flocculation was not noticed for the C480 suspension even after 180 days. This indicated larger stability of the ChNF suspension with longer deacetylation remedy time. The superior stability of C480 was attributed to the excessive conversion of acetamido teams to amino teams within the chitin construction. Because of the protonation impact of those amino teams (NH3+), greater individualized nanofibers had been fibrillated and lowered aggregation occurred through electrostatic repulsive forces10. Li et al.10 in contrast non-deacetylated and deacetylated ChNFs extracted from the identical chitin supply and located that though the geometric architectures of the non-deacetylated and deacetylated ChNFs weren’t affected by deacetylation remedy, the upper content material of amino teams within the deacetylated ChNF construction may cut back fiber aggregation, leading to greater stability of the deacetylated ChNF suspension. Furthermore, a lower in viscosity by one order of magnitude was noticed after deacetylation remedy.

Determine 3
figure 3

Pictures of the deacetylated ChNFs dispersed in distilled water with just a few drops of acetic acid (pH ⁓ 3) as a operate of precipitation time: instantly after mixing (0 min) and after storing at room temperature for various instances in contrast with distilled water (left).

The optimistic prices on the ChNF surfaces had been investigated with respect to the deacetylation response time through ζ-potential evaluation. The typical ζ-potential worth of ChNFs was discovered to extend with growing deacetylation remedy time. C0 had a ζ-potential worth of + 20.3 mV, and after deacetylation for 120 min, the ζ-potential significantly elevated to + 31.9 mV (C120). The ζ-potential values of + 42.0 and + 44.0 mV had been measured for C240 and C480, respectively. The rise in ζ-potential supported the upper conversion of acetamido teams on the chitin spine to amino teams with longer deacetylation remedy time21.


TEM photos of the ChNFs after varied deacetylation remedy instances (0–480 min) are in contrast in Fig. 4. The defibrillation of nanofibers from shrimp exoskeletons was performed for all chitin supplies with or with out deacetylation remedy. C0 with widths of < 20 nm disintegrated and enormous nanofiber aggregates within the vary of 100–300 nm had been noticed. The presence of those fiber bundles was attributable to robust hydrogen bonding between nanofibers related to a excessive diploma of crystallinity27,30, which prompted the fast deposition of C0 after 10 min (Fig. 3). Nevertheless, the acetamido teams had been transformed to amino teams after deacetylation, lowering the intermolecular bonding between nanofibers27. This led to individualization of the ChNFs through easy mechanical disintegration27,30. For C120, the variety of individualized ChNFs with widths of < 20 nm elevated; nonetheless, massive bundles of fibers had been nonetheless current. Profitable fibrillation of individualized spaghetti-like ChNFs occurred after the chitin particles had been deacetylated for 240 min; C240 had a median width of 9.0 ± 1.8 nm and lengths of as much as a number of μm. This was attributed to the excessive electrostatic repulsive forces ensuing from the protonation of amino teams on the chitin construction between fibers, as confirmed by ζ-potential and NMR analyses25,30. Notably, throughout disintegration by high-speed mixing, the pH of the chitin dispersion was lowered to ⁓ 3 utilizing acetic acid, which generated optimistic prices on the amino teams (NH3+)25,30. The widths of ChNFs ready herein had been much like these of ChNFs ready through industrial high-pressure homogenization and grinding10,25. Nevertheless, the morphological structure of C480 unexpectedly modified from a fibril-like construction to a rod-like construction. The typical width and size of C480 had been 7.3 ± 1.8 nm and 222.3 ± 94.4 nm, respectively. The shortening of the nanofibers may outcome from the mix of the lengthy alkaline deacetylation remedy and mechanical fibrillation. Ji et al.57 found that the deacetylation predominantly interacted with the amorphous area of chitin, resulting in the dissolution of the deacetylated amorphous half in an acidic resolution. Consequently, this resulted within the shortened size of ChNFs58. An analogous phenomenon of the size discount was noticed for ChNFs with a decrease DA. Because the DA of ChNFs decreased from 89.2 to 71.6%, the typical size of ChNFs exhibited a big lower from 895 ± 551 nm to 428 ± 270 nm58.

Determine 4
figure 4

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) photos of the deacetylated ChNFs.

Shelf life extension of cucumbers

Herein, the applying of ChNF suspensions for the shelf life extension of recent cucumbers was investigated. Contemporary cucumbers had been chosen as a meals mannequin to check the effectivity of the ChNF coatings as they’re an economically essential recent product consumed worldwide. Native cucumbers had been instantly coated with the ChNF suspensions with the focus of 0.75 wt% (C0, C120, C240, and C480) and monitored each day. The visible look of the coated and uncoated cucumbers is introduced in Fig. 5a, and the load lack of the cucumbers as a operate of storage time is introduced in Desk 2. The freshness of vegetables and fruit will be decided by shade change and weight reduction59,60. Weight reduction is an important issue, which means the standard and shelf lifetime of crop merchandise61,62. Water or moisture loss from recent produce may result in metabolic modifications in plant cells, which accelerates senescence and negatively impacts the dietary content material of the produce61. After 1 day of storage, all cucumber samples remained inexperienced and recent with no indicators of decay. No distinction in weight lack of the cucumbers was noticed with the applying of the ChNF coatings between days 0 and 1. Nevertheless, the uncoated cucumber (management) confirmed the numerous weight reduction between days 0 and 1 (p < 0.05). This weight reduction was primarily attributed to moisture loss from the cucumbers4,11. With growing storage period, the weight lack of the cucumber samples elevated for all therapies. After 3 days of storage, all cucumbers with and with out ChNF coatings had been nonetheless inexperienced, however an space near the stalk was shriveled on all of the samples. This agreed nicely with the load loss outcomes. This dryness was extra pronounced on day 5 and was simply noticed by the bare eye. The C120- and C240-coated cucumbers confirmed decrease weight reduction than the opposite samples (management, C0, and C480), whereas the cucumbers coated with C0 and C480 confirmed comparable weight reduction outcomes to that of the uncoated cucumbers (management). This means that the C120 and C240 coatings may delay the moisture lack of cucumbers. The burden lack of the cucumbers was discovered to have a robust relationship with their quantity loss63. Moreover, larger weight reduction charges had been noticed as a operate of storage period within the cucumbers coated with C0 (− 5.25% day−1) and C480 (− 5.22% day−1) and the management samples (− 4.60% day−1) in contrast with that of the cucumbers coated with C120 (− 3.98% day−1) and C240 (− 3.92% day−1) (Fig. 5b). With growing storage time, the distinction between these two units turned extra pronounced. The decrease moisture launch price of the C120- and C240-coated cucumbers is likely to be as a result of larger fibrillation of their ChNFs (much less aggregation) in comparison with C0 and the longer fiber lengths in comparison with C480. Fibers with smaller widths can kind a community with smaller pore sizes59,64. Moreover, adjoining lengthy nanofibers would kind an interconnected community with bigger quantities of hydrogen bonding on the cucumber surfaces, which might retain water molecules65; nonetheless, the rod-like structured ChNFs may encounter challenges in forming a comparable community resulting from their shorter size, as proven in Fig. 5c.

Determine 5
figure 5

(a) Visible look and (b) weight change of cucumbers coated with ChNFs ready with varied deacetylation instances (management, C0, C120, C240, and C480) conditioned at 30 ± 3 °C as a operate of storage time. (c) Schematic illustrating spaghetti-like structured ChNFs (C120 and C240) and rod-like structured ChNFs (C480) coated on cucumber surfaces, and (d) clear zones of inhibition of ChNFs ready with varied deacetylation instances (C0, C120, C240, and C480) in opposition to Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). 1% acetic acid was used as management.

Desk 2 Weight change of cucumbers coated with ChNFs ready with varied deacetylation instances with respect to storage period.

Moreover, in contrast with brief nanofibers, longer nanofibers would kind an extended diffusion pathway on cucumber surfaces that might delay the transportation of gasoline molecules66. The permeation of gasoline molecules reminiscent of water and O2 via pores inside a nanofiber community would even be managed by the community density65. These findings recommended that the ChNFs (C120 and C240) used as coatings to increase the shelf lifetime of recent cucumbers may doubtlessly be utilized to different recent vegetables and fruit, enabling a discount in single-use packaging, which damages our surroundings and endangers each people and animals.

Antibacterial exercise and bacterial inhibition on cucumbers

Qualitative analysis of the antimicrobial exercise of ChNFs was carried out in opposition to E. coli and S. Typhimurium, two Gram-negative foodborne pathogens usually present in uncooked merchandise from each plant and animal origins67,68,69. A pointy clear zone of inhibition in opposition to E. coli and S. Typhimurium was noticed when 10 µL of C120, C240, or C480 resolution (0.75 wt%) had been instantly dropped onto the bacterial garden, whereas this was not noticed for C0 (Fig. 5d). The outcomes recommended that deacetylation time and DA affected the antimicrobial exercise of ChNFs in opposition to the examined micro organism. Comparable tendency was noticed by Tsigos et al.70, Hongpattarakere and Riyaphan71, and Benhabiles et al.72, who reported that the antimicrobial exercise of chitin and chitosan was partly improved by the deacetylation course of. Herein, deacetylation for 120 min was adequate to transform inactive ChNFs (C0, DA = 95.3%) to antimicrobial ChNFs (C120, DA = 76.2%).

Based mostly on these antibacterial actions noticed in vitro utilizing the spot-on-lawn methodology, solely C120, C240, and C480 had been examined in opposition to E. coli and S. Typhimurium on recent cucumber outer surfaces. This experiment geared toward investigating the antimicrobial results of ChNFs underneath intended-use situation on the floor of recent produce. The bacterial problem examine revealed the antimicrobial effectivity of the examined ChNFs in opposition to each E. coli and S. Typhimurium on cucumbers throughout chilled storage (Desk 3). All examined ChNFs successfully inhibited the expansion of E. coli by sustaining bacterial viability on the inoculated ranges all through 7 days of storage; nonetheless, the variety of E. coli within the management group considerably elevated from the primary day of storage. No important variations (p > 0.05) had been noticed among the many ChNF teams throughout this storage interval. The outcomes recommended that the potencies of C120, C240, and C480 in opposition to E. coli on this meals mannequin weren’t totally different. As for S. Typhimurium, functions of C120 and C240 on the cucumber outer surfaces considerably decreased (~ 90%) viability of the micro organism inside a day. The outcomes indicated that S. Typhimurium was quickly killed when uncovered to C120 and C240. Nevertheless, on day 3 of storage, the S. Typhimurium numbers within the C120 and C240 teams elevated to their preliminary degree and weren’t totally different from that of the management (p > 0.05). This outcome recommended that the utilized focus of C120 and C240 is likely to be inadequate to kill all micro organism on the cucumber surfaces; thus, residual viable cells had been capable of develop afterwards. Conversely, as for C480, the viability of S. Typhimurium on the cucumber surfaces didn’t considerably change through the storage, though its antimicrobial exercise was visualized by the spot-on-lawn assay. The findings recommended that, in contrast to C120 and C240, C480 won’t kill the micro organism. As an alternative, it’d exhibit bacteriostatic (bacterial inhibition) motion in opposition to S. Typhimurium.

Desk 3 Modifications in bacterial viability on cucumber outer surfaces with totally different ChNF coatings (C120, C240, and C480) throughout storage at 4 °C.

The exact antimicrobial mechanism and components affecting the antimicrobial exercise of chitin are nonetheless underway. The mechanism most frequently proposed is the electrostatic stacking of positively charged chitin on the negatively charged bacterial cell floor, which consequently interferes with the mobile metabolism and cell membrane permeability of the micro organism10,73,74. Xu et al.75 discovered that the antibacterial properties of ChNFs was strongly depending on the DA as a result of greater quantities of amino teams. On this regard, it was initially anticipated that C480 would inhibit the examined micro organism to a larger extent than C120 and C240. Certainly, the discrepancy requires additional investigation. Nevertheless, the findings recommended that, quite than the cost alone, there are different components (e.g., fiber width and size) affecting antimicrobial actions of the ChNF. Herein, C120, C240, and C480 had slight variations in DA (from 76 to 69%) and ζ-potential (from + 31.9 to + 44.0 mV). It could possibly be speculated that shorter ChNFs (a rod-like construction) is likely to be inadequate to stack or cowl the bacterial cell floor, thus exhibiting weaker antimicrobial motion (Fig. 5c). This was agreed with the upper weight reduction price of the cucumbers coated with C480 than the cucumbers coated with C120 and C240.

Total, the present findings recommended that the ChNF (C120 and C240) suspensions can lengthen the shelf lifetime of recent cucumbers by lowering moisture loss and delaying the expansion of S. Typhimurium, which linked 1000’s of instances of Salmonella spp. outbreaks in North America76,77 and the UK78. Moreover, chitin, a biodegradable, biocompatible, and non-toxic materials, has been broadly utilized in varied functions together with biomaterials, meals preservation, beauty, and prescription drugs17,18,79. Nevertheless, issues have been raised concerning potential seafood allergy symptoms triggered by chitin. Seafood allergy symptoms, significantly shrimp allergy, have been related to muscle proteins present in shellfish80. You will need to be aware that proteins had been eliminated through the preparation technique of chitin. A examine of the protection of chitosan (a by-product of chitin) in people allergic to shrimp discovered that wine processed with chitosan as a preservative agent didn’t induce allergic reactions in sufferers with shrimp allergy80. Since chitin and chitosan have comparable constructions, this analysis supplies further perception into the utilization of ChNFs and helps the protection of their consumption. In our future work, we plan to discover the residue of ChNFs on recent produce after washing, which can assist us perceive the potential limitation of the ChNF coatings.



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