Multilayers of Renewable Nanostructured Materials with High Oxygen and Water Vapor Barriers for Food Packaging

Eva Pasquier, Bruno D. Mattos, Hanna Koivula, Alexey Khakalo, Mohamed Naceur Belgacem, Orlando J. Rojas*, Julien Bras*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


Natural biopolymers have become key players in the preparation of biodegradable food packaging. However, biopolymers are typically highly hydrophilic, which imposes limitations in terms of barrier properties that are associated with water interactions. Here, we enhance the barrier properties of biobased packaging using multilayer designs, in which each layer displays a complementary barrier function. Oxygen, water vapor, and UV barriers were achieved using a stepwise assembly of cellulose nanofibers, biobased wax, and lignin particles supported by chitin nanofibers. We first engineered several designs containing CNFs and carnauba wax. Among them, we obtained low water vapor permeabilities in an assembly containing three layers, i.e., CNF/wax/CNF, in which wax was present as a continuous layer. We then incorporated a layer of lignin nanoparticles nucleated on chitin nanofibrils (LPChNF) to introduce a complete barrier against UV light, while maintaining film translucency. Our multilayer design which comprised CNF/wax/LPChNF enabled high oxygen (OTR of 3 ± 1 cm3/m2·day) and water vapor (WVTR of 6 ± 1 g/m2·day) barriers at 50% relative humidity. It was also effective against oil penetration. Oxygen permeability was controlled by the presence of tight networks of cellulose and chitin nanofibers, while water vapor diffusion through the assembly was regulated by the continuous wax layer. Lastly, we showcased our fully renewable packaging material for preservation of the texture of a commercial cracker (dry food). Our material showed functionality similar to that of the original packaging, which was composed of synthetic polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30236-30245
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number26
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biobased packaging
  • cellulose nanofibers
  • layered biopolymers
  • lignin particles
  • sustainable films
  • wax


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