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Improvement in liquid absorption of open-cell polymeric foam by plasma treatment for food packaging applications

Alaa Alaizoki, Christopher Phillips Orcid Logo, David Parker, Craig Hardwick, James McGettrick Orcid Logo, Davide Deganello Orcid Logo

Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Volume: 139, Issue: 17, Start page: 52015

Swansea University Authors: Alaa Alaizoki, Christopher Phillips Orcid Logo, James McGettrick Orcid Logo, Davide Deganello Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.1002/app.52015

Abstract

Free-moving meat exudate in plastic packaging is perceived as unhygienic and unattractive by consumers. It facilitates the deterioration of meat quality and safety, increasing meat waste and loss. This work discusses an innovative approach in scavenging meat exudate within commercial plastic packagi...

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Published in: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
ISSN: 0021-8995 1097-4628
Published: Wiley 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59034
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Abstract: Free-moving meat exudate in plastic packaging is perceived as unhygienic and unattractive by consumers. It facilitates the deterioration of meat quality and safety, increasing meat waste and loss. This work discusses an innovative approach in scavenging meat exudate within commercial plastic packaging. This involves improving the liquid absorption capabilities of open-cell polystyrene (PS) foam through the application of oxygen plasma treatment rather than chemical wetting agents. The excited plasma species diffuse into the porous foam structure introducing polar oxygen groups onto the pore walls and improves their surface hydrophilicity. Hence, the foam pores, with enhanced wettability towards water-based liquids, are proposed to have a larger sucking capillary pressure thus increasing the absorption capacity of the porous PS foam. The specific liquid absorption capacity of PS foam sheets (thickness: 5 mm) increased from 1.09 g g-1 (grams of exudate simulant liquid absorbed per gram of PS foam) to 8.78 g g-1 as a result of plasma treatment; an 8-fold increase in liquid capacity (g g-1) that persisted even 60 days post treatment. This study demonstrates the practicality of using plasma treatment as a non-chemical and efficient technology in scavenging meat and food exudates in plastic packaging
Keywords: Foams, packaging, polystyrene
College: College of Engineering
Funders: European Social Fund via the Welsh Government, Grant/Award Number: C80816; Ser Solar project via Welsh Government; the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, Grant/Award Number: 80708; European Regional Development Fund; Swansea University; Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Grant/Award Numbers: EP/L015099/1, EP/M028267/1, EP/N020863/1; European Social Fund
Issue: 17
Start Page: 52015