Performance properties, lactic acid specific migration and swelling by simulant of biodegradable poly(lactic acid)/nanoclay multilayer films for food packaging

Paola Scarfato, Luciano Di Maio, Maria Rosaria Milana, Silvia Giamberardini, Massimo Denaro, Loredana Incarnato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of the study was the development of a multifunctional, high-performance, fully biodegradable multilayer polylactic acid (PLA) film for food packaging applications. In particular, sealable multilayer PLA–clay nanocomposite systems with different layouts in terms of composition and relative thickness of the layers, all consisting of a PLA–clay nanocomposite layer between two pure PLA layers for direct food contact, were designed and produced by blown film co-extrusion. The films obtained were analysed for their morphology, functional properties and lactic acid (LA)-specific migration in 50% ethanol. The results showed that, with respect to the unfilled multilayer system, taken as a reference, the nanocomposite films had significant improvements, up to about 40%, in their barriers to oxygen and tensile strengths, and resulted in being more easily sealable over a wide heat-sealing temperature range (80–100°C) with higher seal strength. Moreover, all films had LA migrations always well below the former generic overall migration limit of 60 mg kg–1 food (10 mg dm 2) of European Union Regulation No. 10/2011 (deleted by the amending Regulation No. 2016/1416), even if their morphology was strongly modified during the migration tests due to the strong swelling action of the used simulant (simulant D1 = 50% ethanol (aq.) (v/v)) towards PLA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1730-1742
Number of pages13
JournalFood Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 3 2017



  • biodegradable films
  • food packaging
  • Multilayer films
  • nanocomposite
  • oxygen permeability
  • poly(lactic acid)
  • sealability
  • specific migration
  • swelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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