, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 2491–2504 | Cite as

Multi-functional coating of cellulose nanocrystals for flexible packaging applications

  • Fei LiEmail author
  • Paolo Biagioni
  • Monica Bollani
  • Andrea Maccagnan
  • Luciano Piergiovanni
Original Paper


In this paper, we systematically address the performance of cellulose nanocrystals (CNs) coated flexible food packaging films. Firstly, the morphology of CNs from cotton linters and homogeneity of its coating on different substrates were characterized by transmission electronic microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Then, the 1.5 μm thick CNs coating on polyethylene terephthalate (PET), oriented polypropylene, oriented polyamide (OPA), and cellophane films were characterized for their mechanical, optical, anti-fog, and barrier properties. CNs coating reduces the coefficient of friction while maintaining high transparency (~90 %) and low haze (3–4 %) values, and shows excellent anti-fog properties and remarkable oxygen barrier (oxygen permeability coefficient of CNs coating, P’O2, 0.003 cm3 μm m−2 24 h−1 kPa−1). In addition, the Gelbo flex test combined with oxygen permeance (PO2) measurements and optical microscopy are firstly reported for evaluating the durability of coatings, revealing that the CNs coated PET and OPA provide the best performance among the investigated coated films. CNs are therefore considered to be a promising multi-functional coating for flexible food packaging.


Cellulose nanocrystals (CNs) Food packaging Oxygen barrier Anti-fog properties Bio-coating 



We wish to thank Prof. Franco Faoro from Department of Plant Production, Università degli Studi di Milano (Milano, Italy), who carried out TEM observations, Dr. Roberto Galbasini and Dr. Giorgio Bottini, from Goglio S. p. A. (VA, Italy), who helped in oxygen and water vapor barrier measurements, and Dr. Christian Furiosi from SAPICI S. p. A (Milan, Italy), who helped in particle size distribution measurement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fei Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paolo Biagioni
    • 2
  • Monica Bollani
    • 3
  • Andrea Maccagnan
    • 4
  • Luciano Piergiovanni
    • 1
  1. 1.Packaging Division, Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DeFENS)Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Fisica and CNISMPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  3. 3.IFN-CNR, L-NESSComoItaly
  4. 4.Packaging DivisionGOGLIO S.p.A.DaverioItaly

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