Biopolymeric films based on cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) mucilage incorporated with gelatin and beeswax
Keywords:Opuntia ficus-indica, biopolymeric films, mucilage, gelatin, beeswax.
Mucilage from stems of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) ‘Milpa Alta’ (Mm) and ‘Toluca’ (Mt), in a
single ingredient condition and in mixture with gelatin and beeswax, was used to prepare
biopolymeric films, which were assessed in terms of microscopic morphology, thickness,
transparency, tensile strength, and permeability to water vapor, O2, and CO2. Films based on
Mm were thinner, with higher transparency, and higher tensile strength than those of Mt, but
they had similar barrier properties to water vapor, O2, and CO2. The addition of gelatin did not
affect thickness and transparency of such films, but caused modification of the microscopic
morphology, the mechanical strength, and the barrier properties to gases and water vapor.
Furthermore, the addition of beeswax promoted the formation of aggregates in the microscopic
morphology of films and these acquired smaller thickness, higher tensile strength, and higher
barrier properties to O2, CO2, and water vapor, which may give them better potential to be used
in the postharvest conservation area of horticultural products, although they were less