Macca carbon (MC) powder, a biomass byproduct of macadamia nut farming that emits far-infrared (FIR) radiation, was integrated into low-density polyethylene (LDPE) using melt-compounding and subsequent melt-extrusion procedures. For antimicrobial packaging applications, LDPE/MC composite viability sheets were evaluated using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermal gravitational analysis, mechanical properties, FIR emission power, barrier properties, and transmission properties, antimicrobial activity assays, and storage tests. There was a strong correlation between the amount of MC powder utilized and the physical qualities and antibacterial activity of composite films. The FIR emission capability is enhanced with increasing MC powder concentration in LDPE/MC composite film. Only the MC powder at a concentration of 0.5 percent by weight exhibited appropriate basic film properties, antibacterial activity, and storage performance, allowing lettuce and strawberries to remain fresh for almost 7 and 5 days, respectively, outside the refrigerator. This study reveals that FIR composites created from MC powder can potentially be used as a packaging material in the food business.

Reference: Sakdapipanich J, Rodgerd P, Sakdapipanich N. A Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)/Macca Carbon Advanced Composite Film with Functional Properties for Packaging Materials. Polymers 2022: 14: 1794.