One of the major disadvantages of polymers when used in food-contact applications is that they are very susceptible to microbial attack. On the other hand, silver nanoparticles have received increased attention as novel antimicrobial agents. Therefore, the introduction of silver nanoparticles into conventional polymers results in new materials with improved properties. In this investigation, colloidal silver nanoparticles using an environmentally friendly procedure were synthesized. An aqueous solution of AgNO3 was used as a silver precursor with ‘green’ reducing agents either different types of honey, or β-d-glucose. In the first case, different pH values, as well as the addition of poly(ethylene glycol), PEG were studied, while in the latter, the effect of reduction time in the presence of PEG with various average molecular weights was examined. Properties of the nanoparticles were measured using X-Ray diffraction, UV–Vis and FTIR spectroscopy. Using honey it seems that spherical particles are produced with the smaller average particle size obtained at pH 8.5. Use of honey has the advantage of being a natural product, although its main drawback is that its composition varies and it cannot be predefined to result in reproducible results. Use of β-d-glucose results in stable silver nanoparticles with small average particle size after 24 h reduction. The addition of low molecular weight PEG seems to be beneficial in the production of stable nanoparticles. Finally, the antimicrobial activity of the nanoparticles produced was investigated at different concentrations on both Gram positive and negative bacteria, such as Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
Journal of Polymers and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 15, 2017
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