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A smart biodegradable biopolymer nanocomposite which can detect relative humidity
Scientists from the Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology A newly developed biodegradable, biopolymer nanocomposite which can detect relative humidity can find application as smart packaging materials, especially for the food industry.
In this, two biopolymers, Guar Gum (a variety of beans obtained from plant) and Alginate (obtained from brown algae), were blended with carbon dots (nanomaterial) to make a nanocomposite film that was successfully used to detect relative humidity. The fabricated nanocomposite film was an excellent smart sensor based on the fluorescence ‘on-off’ mechanisms against humidity. Their research has been published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.
The nanocomposite film shows change in fluorescence in presence of high humidity. Hence, the fabricated nanocomposite film can monitor the packed food freshness using just a UV light source. “Smart and active packaging can help consumers select a fresh product without breaking the pack. Such innovative packaging boosts sales and reduces consumers’ time to identify fresh food products,” said the researchers.