The main objective of this research activity was to design and realize active films with tunable food functional properties. In detail, caffeic acid (CA), a polyphenol with high antioxidant effect, was used as active ingredient in poly (vinyl alcohol-co-ethylene) (EVOH) films at 5 wt.% and 15 wt.% and successfully realized by means of the solvent casting process. Optical, morphological, thermal and mechanical studies were considered to define the effect of the presence of the CA component on the structural properties of the matrix. In addition, moisture content and antioxidant activity were evaluated, to have clear information on the CA effect in terms of functional characteristics of realized food packaging systems. Results from tensile tests showed increased values for strength and deformation at break in EVOH_CA based films. Results from colorimetric and transparency analysis underlined that the presence of caffeic acid in EVOH copolymer induces some alterations, whereas the addition of the active ingredient determined a positive radical scavenging activity of the formulations, confirming the possibility of practically using these polymeric systems in the food packaging sector.
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