Background: In this study, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were synthesized using Banana
Peel Extract (BPE), and characterized using UV- Vis absorbance spectroscopy, X-Ray Powder Diffraction
(XRD), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR).
UV-Vis absorbance spectroscopy showed the characteristic plasmon resonance of AgNPs at 433 nm.
Methods: Nanoparticle size (between 5 and 9 nm) was measured using AFM, whereas their crystallinity
was shown by XRD. FTIR identified the ligands that surround the nanoparticle surface. The synthesis
conditions were optimised using Central Composite Design (CCD) under Response Surface Methodology
(RSM). Silver nitrate (AgNO3) and BPE concentrations (0.25-2.25 mM, 0.2-1.96 % v/v respectively),
incubation period (24-120 h) and pH level (2.3-10.1) were chosen as the four independent
factors. The fitting parameters (i.e. the wavelength at peak maximum, the peak area, and the peak
width) of a Voigt function of the UV- Vis spectra were chosen as the responses.
Results: An optimum combination of all independent factors was identified (BPE concentration 1.7 %
v/v, AgNO3 concentration 1.75 mM, incubation period 48 h, pH level 4.3), giving minimum peak
wavelength and peak width. The antibacterial properties of the AgNPs were tested against Escherichia
coli and Staphylococcus aureus using the tube dilution test. The nanoparticles inhibited the growth of
E. coli, whereas S. aureus growth was not affected. However, no superiority of AgNPs compared to
AgNO3 used for their fabrication (1.75 mM), with respect to antibacterial action, could be here demonstrated.
AgNPs were found to present moderate antioxidant activity (44.71± 3.01%), as measured using
the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, while the BPE (used for their fabrication) presented
alone (100%) an antioxidant action equal to 86±1%, something expected due to its higher total phenolic
content (TPC) compared to that of nanoparticles.
Conclusion: Altogether, the results of this study highlight the potential of an eco-friendly method to
synthesize nanoparticles and its promising optimization through statistical experimental design. Future
research on the potential influence of other synthesis parameters on nanoparticles yield and properties
could further promote their useful biological activities towards their successful application in the food
industry and other settings.