Long-Chain Polyhydroxyesters from Natural Occurring Aleuritic Acid as Potential Material for Food Packaging

Fatty polyhydroxyesters (C≥16) are present in nature as barrier polymers like cutin in some protective tissues of higher plants. The mimicry of these biopolymers is regarded as a strategy to design nontoxic and fully biodegradable food packaging films and coatings. To obtain cutin inspired materials we have used a natural occurring polyhydroxylated monomer like aleuritic (9,10,16-trihydroxypalmitic) acid and a direct and scalable synthesis route consisting in the noncatalyzed melt-condensation polymerization in air. To reduce the number of hydroxyl groups and to increase hydrophobicity, palmitic acid has been used as a capping agent. Aleuritic-palmitic polyhydroxyesteres films have been obtained and characterized.