ABSTRACT Chitosan-nanoclay bio-hybrid films were successfully crosslinked with glutaraldehyde, genipin and glyoxal. Moisture sensitivity of films decreased as a result of crosslinking which led to improved barrier properties against water vapor and oxygen. Films containing chitosan (6.6 g/m2) with genipin (3.3 g/m2) and nanoclay (6.6 g/m2) had water vapor transmission rate of 72 g × 100 µm/(m2 × 24 h) which was 34% lower as compared to pure chitosan and 30% lower as compared to chitosan/nanoclay without crosslinkers. Glyoxal induced crosslinking resulted in 92% reduction in oxygen transmission rate at 80% relative humidity as compared to pure chitosan films. Oxygen transmission through glyoxal (3.3 g/m2) treated chitosan/nanoclay film was 2.8 cm3 × 100 µm/(m2 × 24 h) which was 53% lower as compared to chitosan/nanoclay without crosslinkers. In addition, nanoclay and especially glyoxal crosslinking prevented the water vapor sorption of chitosan considerably. Crosslinking may be used as an efficient tool for enhancing the exploitability of naturally hydrophilic biopolymers towards new high-value applications, such as food packaging.
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