Bacterial cellulose (BC) is a biopolymer composed of nanofibers which has excellent film-forming ability. However, BC do not have antibacterial or antioxidant activity, thus limiting the applicability of BC for food and biomedical applications. In this study, flavonoid silymarin (SMN) and zein were assembled into spherical SMN-Zein nanoparticles that could be effectively adsorbed onto BC nanofibers. SMN-Zein nanoparticles greatly changed the wettability and swelling property of BC films due to the formation of nanoparticles/nanofibers nanocomposites. SMN-Zein nanoparticles enhanced the release of sparingly soluble silymarin from the nanocomposite films. The active films showed more effective antioxidant and antibacterial activities as compared with pure BC films and thus were able to protect salmon muscle from deterioration and lipid oxidation. These findings suggest that the nanoparticle/nanofiber composites may offer a suitable platform for modification of BC films with improved drug release properties and biological activities.
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