ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Modelling of sorbic acid diffusion through bacterial cellulose-based antimicrobial films

Loredana-Mihaela Dobre, Anicuţa Stoica-Guzun, Marta Stroescu, Iuliana Mihaela Jipa, Tǎnase Dobre, Mariana Ferdeş, and Ştefana Ciumpiliac

Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Polizu 13, Bucharest, 011061 Romania



Abstract: Antimicrobial packaging protects the product from the external environment and microbial contamination, conferring numerous advantages on human health. Interest in biopolymers as packaging materials has considerably increased recently. Bacterial cellulose is an interesting biomaterial produced as nanofibrils by Acetobacter xylinium and is a promising candidate due to its remarkable properties. New composite materials with antimicrobial properties were developed in this work, containing poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as polymer matrix and ground bacterial cellulose (BC) as reinforcing fibres. Sorbic acid was used as an antimicrobial agent because it is a preservative recognised in the food industry. The materials obtained were studied using Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The swelling rate of the composites was also measured. Release experiments of sorbic acid from the composite films into water were performed and the mass transfer phenomena were investigated using Fick’s law of diffusion. The antimicrobial effect was tested against Escherichia coli K12-MG1655. The results obtained indicated that the new biocomposite films could be promising antimicrobial food packaging materials.

Keywords: antimicrobial packaging – sorbic acid – bacterial cellulose – poly(vinyl alcohol)

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-011-0086-2


Chemical Papers 66 (2) 144–151 (2012)

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