Herein, the effect of three deterpenated fractions from Origanum majorana L. essential oil on the physicochemical, mechanical and biological properties of chitosan/β-chitin nanofibers-based nanocomposite films were investigated. In general, the incorporation of Origanum majorana L. original essential oil or its deterpenated fractions increases the opacity of the nanocomposite films and gives them a yellowish color. The water solubility decreases from 58% for chitosan/β-chitin nanofibers nanocomposite film to around 32% for the nanocomposite films modified with original essential oil or its deterpenated fractions. Regarding the thermal stability, no major changes were observed, and the mechanical properties decreased. Interestingly, data show differences on the biological properties of the materials depending on the incorporated deterpenated fraction of Origanum majorana L. essential oil. The nanocomposite films prepared with the deterpenated fractions with a high concentration of oxygenated terpene derivatives show the best antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger, with fungal growth inhibition of around 85.90%. Nonetheless, the only nanocomposite film that does not present cytotoxicity on the viability of L929 fibroblast cells after 48 and 72 h is the one prepared with the fraction presenting the higher terpenic hydrocarbon content (87.92%). These results suggest that the composition of the deterpenated fraction plays an important role in determining the biological properties of the nanocomposite films.
- Beta-chitin nanofibers
- Biological properties
- Deterpenated fractions
- Nanocomposite films
- Origanum majorana L. essential oil