American Chemical Society
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Antioxidative, Hemocompatible, Fluorescent Carbon Nanodots from an “End-of-Pipe” Agricultural Waste: Exploring Its New Horizon in the Food-Packaging Domain

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-05-21, 00:00 authored by Manashi Das Purkayastha, Ajay Kumar Manhar, Vijay Kumar Das, Anjan Borah, Manabendra Mandal, Ashim Jyoti Thakur, Charu Lata Mahanta
The attention of researchers is burgeoning toward oilseed press-cake valorization for its high protein content. Protein removal from oil-cakes generates large quantities of fibrous residue (oil-and-protein spent meal) as a byproduct, which currently has very limited practical utility. In the wake of increasing awareness in waste recycling, a simple environmentally benign hydrothermal carbonization process to convert this “end-of-pipe” waste (spent meal) into antioxidative, hemocompatible, fluorescent carbonaceous nanoparticles (FCDs) has been described. In the present investigation, an interesting application of FCDs in fabricating low-cost rapeseed protein-based fluorescent film, with improved antioxidant potential (17.5–19.3-fold) and thermal stability has been demonstrated. The nanocomposite film could also be used as forgery-proof packaging due to its photoluminescence property. For assessing the feasibility of antioxidative FCDs in real food systems, a comparative investigation was further undertaken to examine the effect of such nanocarbon-loaded composite film on the oxidative shelf life of rapeseed oil. Oil samples packed in nanocomposite film sachets showed significant delay in oxidative rancidity compared to those packed in pristine protein-film sachet (free fatty acids, peroxide value, and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances reduced up to 1.4-, 2-, and 1.2-fold, respectively). The work presents a new concept of biobased fluorescent packaging and avenues for harnessing this potent waste.