Antimicrobial Efficacy of the Nano-Starch-Based Packaging Films

Nano-starch-based packaging film showed high antimicrobial property which help increase the shelf life, nutritive value, and freshness of food products (Ortega et al., 2019). Several antimicrobial compounds, such as potassium sorbate, Benzoic acid.

Nisin, lauric acid, organic acids, essential oils, enzymes, bacteriocins, oxygen absorbers, fungicides, natural extracts, polymers and gas, are attached to the starch matrix (Malhotra et al., 2015; Table 19.1).

In market, the demand of nano-based antimicrobial starch film has increased due to the maintaining of the product quality by the protection from microbial contamination through natural sources and metal oxides (Sung et al., 2013).

Natural Sources

Several natural sources such as pomegranate peel, mung bean, curcumin, sago and garlic nanoparticles are embedded with the starch film which shown higher antimicrobial properties as shown in Table 19.2.

19.5.1 Cinnamon Essential Oil

The antibacterial activity of nano-based starch film was increased due to the phytochemical compound present in cinnamon essential oil (CEO; Zhang et al., 2016). It has been shown to have effective antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli which responsible for the foodborne spoilage (Shen et al., 2015). It also effects the cell wall permeability and properties of different microorganisms (Ma et al., 2016). CEO-base nano-starch films increase the shelf life of meat, fish, and bread products (Van et al., 2016). They also have the ability to reduce the gas permeability (Hafsa et al., 2016).

19.5.2 Pomegranate Peel ( Punicagranatum L)

Nano-starch films are embedded with the pomegranate peel which show higher bacterial activity and inhibits the microbial growth due to the presence of higher bioactive compounds (Ali et al., 2018). It inhibits the growth of gram positive and gram-negative bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella). Pomegranate peel nano-starch film was used more to increase the shelf life of meat and chicken products (Abid et al., 2017).

19.5.3 Nutmeg Oil

Nutmeg oil is used to coated nano-starch-based films due to its higher antimicrobial properties. It is a rich source of sabinene (25.4%) as well as myristicine and pinene (14.8 and 15.8%, respectively; Chang et al., 2010). The non-polar compound in nutmeg oil shows a low solubility rate which affects the stability of the nanoemulsion. As an edible film, it also improves the storage modulus, tensile strength, glass transition temperature, and water vapour with the combination of nutmeg oil. It also inhibits the growth of 5. aureus and E. coli (10.40 and 10.76 mm, respectively; Aisyah et al., 2018b).

Several Antimicrobial Compounds were Embedded with the Starch Matrix Which Shown Antimicrobial Properties of Nano-Starch-Based Packaging Film

Antimicrobial Compound

Type of Antimicrobial



Benzoic acid

Organic acid

Total bacteria assay

Nakazato et al. (2017)


Organic acid

Yeast, filamentous fungi

Ghanbarzadeh et al. (2011)



Staphylococcus aureus and Brochothrix thermosphacta

Aldaoet al. (2018)

Immobilized lysozyme


Lysozyme activity assay

Liu et al. (2016)



Escherichia coli

Zhang et al. (2016)

Chitosan and herb extract


E. coli, Lactobacillus plantarum, Fusarium oxysporum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Kim et al. (2015)

Sorbic anhydride

Organic acid

Saccharomyces cerevisiae and filamentous fungi

Zhang et al. (2018)



Filamentous fungi

Amini and Seyed (2016)

Different Studies Showing Higher Antimicrobial Properties of Nano-Based Starch Film when it is Bound With A Natural Source

Natural Source


Zone of Inhibition (mm or %)



Sago starch

Escherichia coli


Higher antimicrobial property due presence of higher phenolic compounds

Nafchi et al. (2012)

Corn starch

Staphylococcus aureus E. coli

  • 38
  • 32

Gram-positive bacteria were more sensitive to edible film than were gram-negative bacteria due to an impermeable outer membrane that surround the gram-negative bacteria.

Song et al. (2018)


Salmonella, S. aureus

  • 804
  • 201

Antibacterial resistance inside the structure

Khodaeimehr et al. (2018)

Cinnamon essential oil

Mucor spp.

Good antimicrobial activity

Zhang et al. (2018)

Nutmeg oil

Salmonella typhimurium


Inhibits growth of foodborne pathogen

Xie et al. (2011)

Pomegranate peel

S. aureus Salmonella

  • 12%
  • 14%

Pomegranate peel particles are released from starch and have shown antimicrobial properties due to the interaction between phenolic toxicity and sulfhydryl group of proteins in microorganisms

Alietal. (2019)

19.5.4 Pea Starch

The pea starch nano-based film shows effective results against several microorganisms such as S. aureus, E. coli, Aspergillus niger, P. fluorescence, and Penicillium italicum due to the presence of lysozyme, isoflavones, luteolin, apigenin, and phenolic compounds. The pea starch nano-film shows higher hydrophobicity (Aisyah et ah, 2018a).

19.5.5 Ginger Starch

Nano-starch-based film was prepared w'ith ginger starch, which shows higher antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anti-analgesic activity due to the presence of terpenes, oleoresin, gingerol, and gingerol-related compound (Aisyah et ah, 2018a). It show's effective antimicrobial activity against E. coli. Salmonella typhi, Candida albicans, and Bacillus subtilis (Chen et ah, 2008).

19.5.6 Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil is embedded with starch to produce a nano-based film (Soylu et ah, 2007). It shows effective antimicrobial properties by inhibiting foodborne pathogens and fungi (Zygosaccluiro mycesbailii, P. digitatum, P. italicum, and C. albicans) due to the presence of volatile compounds such as carvacrol and thymol (Avila et ah, 2010).

19.5.7 Nisin

Grower et ah (2004) reported that the cellulose, nisin was released, and it affected packaging films by inhibiting Listeria monocytogenes strains. The pH w'as affecting the growth of bacteria through neutralization, and it overcome the stress of antibacterial compound (Grower et ah, 2004).

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