Abstract: Aloe Vera is an ancient medicinal plant especially known for its beneficial properties for human health, due to its bioactive compounds. In this study, nanofibers with antioxidant activity were successfully obtained by electrospinning technique with the addition of a natural Aloe Vera skin extract (AVE) (at 0, 5, 10 and 20 wt% loadings) in poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) solutions. The successful incorporation of AVE into PEO was evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and antioxidant activity by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging (DPPH), 2,2′-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical scavenging (ABTS) and ferric reducing power (FRAP) assays. The incorporation of AVE introduced some changes in the PEO/AVE nanofibers morphology showing bimodal diameter distributions for AVE contents in the range 10-20 wt%. Some decrease in thermal stability with AVE addition, in terms of decomposition onset temperature, was also observed and it was more evident at high loading AVE contents (10 and 20 wt%). High encapsulation efficiencies of 92%, 76% and 105% according to DPPH, FRAP and ABTS assays, respectively, were obtained at 5 wt% AVE content, retaining AVE its antioxidant capacity in the PEO/AVE electrospun nanofibers. The results suggested that the obtained nanofibers could be promising materials for their application in active food packaging to decrease oxidation of packaged food during storage.
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