The excessive use and disposal of plastic packaging materials have drawn increasing concerns from the society because of the detrimental effect on environment and ecosystems. As the most widely used fruit packing material, polyethylene (PE) film is not suitable for long-term preservation of some tropical fruits, such as mangos, due to its inferior gas permeability. Cellulose based film can be made from renewable resources and is biodegradable and environmental-friendly, which makes it a promising alternative to PE as a packaging material. In this study, cellulose film synthesized from delignified banana stem fibers via an ionic liquid 1-Allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([AMIm][Cl]) were evaluated as packing material for mangos preservation. The moisture vapor transmission rate and gas transmission rate of the synthesized cellulose film were 1,969.1 g/(m2⋅24 h) and 10,015.4 ml/(m2⋅24 h), respectively, which are significantly higher than those of commercial PE films. The high permeability is beneficial to the release of ethylene so that contribute to extend fruit ripening period. As a result, cellulose film packaging significantly decreased the disease and color indexes of mangos, while prolonged the storage and shelf life of marketable fruits. In addition, the cellulose film was decomposed in soils in 4 weeks, indicating an excellent biodegradability as compared to the PE plastic film.

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Published in Frontiers in Plant Science, v. 12, article 625878.

© 2021 Ai, Zheng, Li, Zheng, Yang, Xiao, Shi and Sheng.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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This work was financially supported by the Central Public-interest Scientific Institution Basal Research Fund for Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences (No. 17CXTD-05) and China Scholarship Council (No. 201803260012). Co-authors at University of Kentucky acknowledge support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch-Multistate project under accession number 1018315.

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