Studying the Halochromic Behavior of Cellulose Acetate Films Incorporated with Bromothymol Blue Indicator

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D Student of Food Engineering, Department of Food Nanotechnology, Research Institute of Food Science and Technology, Mashhad

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Food Nanotechnology, Research Institute of Food Science and Technology, Mashhad

3 Associate Professor, Department of Food Nanotechnology, Research Institute of Food Science and Technology, Mashhad


Microbial growth in food products decreases the food shelf life and increases the risk of foodborne diseases. There are various methods for monitoring the microbial growth and consequently the incidence of food spoilage; e.g. food spoilage monitoring sensors. In this research we aim to investigate the feasibility of producing the cellulose acetate (CA) film incorporated with bromothymol blue (BTB), as a kind of halochromic sensor. The 4% (w/w) cellulose acetate solution with 0.5, 1 and 1.5% bromothymol blue (wdye/wpolymer) and 0.5% glycerol (as plasticizer) was used to produce the pH sensitive films. The halochromic behavior of sensors in pH 5-9 buffer solutions were studied through the L*, a*, b*, and total color difference (ΔE*) measurements. The reaction of the produced films and the leakage of the dye at different pH values were also studied. The results showed the significant effect of dye and pH (P<0.05) on color factors. Increasing the pH, resulted in higher and lower ΔE, and L*a*b* values, respectively. It was also found that films with 1.5% BTB has higher response reaction and more intensity in color changing. The halochromic films did not show any dye leakage in the distilled water and the buffer solutions. This attribute makes these sensors good candidates for the application in the high moisture food packaging.


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