Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 692–701 | Cite as

Potential of Lignins as Antioxidant Additive in Active Biodegradable Packaging Materials

  • Sandra DomenekEmail author
  • Abderrahim Louaifi
  • Alain Guinault
  • Stéphanie Baumberger
Original paper


Due to their polyphenolic structure lignins bear a number of interesting functional properties, such as antioxidant activity. Natural antioxidants are very much looked for in the aim of protection of light or oxygen sensitive goods and are being used in active packaging. Poly(lactide) (PLA)-lignin films were prepared by twin screw extrusion followed by thermo-compression using two different commercial sources of alkali lignins obtained from gramineous plants. A good dispersion of lignin in the matrix was observed. Mechanical properties of the compounded material were merely diminished and oxygen barrier properties slightly enhanced. The chromatographic study of the lignins revealed that the low molecular weight fraction of both lignins increased during the polymer processing. The migration of low molecular weight compounds in an ethanol/water solution simulating fatty foodstuff was performed and the antioxidant activity of the extract was analysed. It was found that the activity increases with increasing severity of the heat treatment because of the generation of free phenolic monomers during processing. These results open an interesting way for application of lignins as an active compound in packaging materials. Lignins do not impair the mechanical and barrier performance of the polymer and the plastics processing even allows for the generation of active substances.


Antioxidant Food packaging Lignin Biodegradable polymer Poly(lactic acid) 



The authors acknowledge the scientific research fund of AgroParisTech for funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Domenek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    Email author
  • Abderrahim Louaifi
    • 1
  • Alain Guinault
    • 3
  • Stéphanie Baumberger
    • 4
  1. 1.AgroParisTech, UMR 1145MassyFrance
  2. 2.1, rue des OlympiadesMassy CedexFrance
  3. 3.CNAM, PIMM- P2AMParisFrance
  4. 4.Institut Jean-Pierre BourginUMR 1318 AgroParisTech-INRAVersaillesFrance
  5. 5.INRA, UMR 1145MassyFrance

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