Effect of gamma irradiation on physicochemical properties of commercial poly(lactic acid) clamshell for food packaging

Tomás J. Madera-Santana*, R. Meléndrez, Gerardo González-García, Patricia Quintana-Owen, Suresh D. Pillai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is a well-known biodegradable polymer with strong potential application in food packaging industry. In this paper, samples of PLA clamshell for tomatoes packaging were exposed with 60CO γ-ray's source (1.33 MeV) at different dose levels (0, 10, 60, 150, 300, and 600 kGy), at room temperature and in presence of air. The physicochemical properties of neat PLA and sample exposed to gamma irradiation were investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and tensile measurements. Results show as the dose increases, the molecular weight (Mw), melting temperature (Tm), tensile strength and elongation at break decreased. However, the tensile modulus increased with increasing doses. The surface of PLA clamshells was degraded (scratches and minor cracks) when samples were exposed to doses greater than 60 kGy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
Volume123
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • Gamma-irradiation
  • Physico-chemical properties
  • Poly(lactic acid)
  • Thermal properties
  • XRD

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