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    ABSTRACT: Cellulose at the nanoparticle scale has been studied as a reinforcement for biodegradable matrices to improve film properties. The goal has been to investigate the properties of starch/gelatin/cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) films. Eleven treatments were considered using RCCD (rotatable central composite design), in addition to four control treatments. For each assay, the following dependent variables were measured: water vapor permeability (WVP), thickness, opacity and mechanical properties. The microstructure and thermal properties of the films were also assessed. Increases in gelatin and CNC concentrations lead to increases in film thickness, strength and elongation at break. The films containing only gelatin in their matrix displayed better results than the starch films, and the addition of CNC had a positive effect on the assessed response variables. The films exhibited homogeneous and cohesive structures, indicating strong interactions between the filler and matrix. Films with low levels of gelatin and CNC presented the maximum degradation temperature.
    Carbohydrate Polymers 01/2015; 115:215–222. DOI:10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.08.057 · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plastic is one of the most common pollutants in the environment. Therefore, the number of studies on the use of biodegradable packaging is increasing. Starch is the primary material used in the production of biodegradable plastics due to its natural abundance and high biodegradability. Yet, the strong hydrophilic character of starch presents a challenge. Therefore, the modification of its structure through oxidation may yield interesting results as the viscosity reduction. The objectives of this work were to obtain cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) starch oxidized with 0.8 and 2.0% active chlorine, to develop biodegradable films and characterize their mechanical properties, solubility in water, permeability to water vapor, degree of swelling, and sorption isotherms. Biodegradable films were produced with starch concentrations of 2, 3, 4, and 5% w/w and 25% glycerol (g/100 g starch) added as a plasticizer. Images of the films were obtained with an atomic force microscope and allow to observe a smooth surface and the absence of starch granules in the film produced with oxidized starches. The tensile strength of the biodegradable film produced with oxidized starch (0.8% active chlorine) was 80 MPa. The value of permeability to water vapor was 1.613 × 10−9 kg/day/m/Pa, and the average solubility was 41%. The sorption isotherms showed that biodegradable films made with oxidized starches cannot be used in environments with relative humidity below 35% or above 90%.
    Starch - Starke 10/2011; 63(10):595 - 603. DOI:10.1002/star.201000163 · 1.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, glycerol content and its incorporation method on tensile and barrier properties of biodegradable films (BF) based on cassava starch were analyzed. ANOVA showed that the glycerol incorporation method did not influence the results (P > 0.05), however the glycerol content influenced significantly the tensile and barrier properties of the films (P < 0.05). Films prepared with lower glycerol content presented better tensile and barrier properties than films with higher content. Films were then prepared with addition of clay nanoparticles and their tensile and barrier properties and glass transition temperature were measured. ANOVA indicated that both glycerol and clay nanoparticles influenced significantly the tensile and barrier properties (P < 0.05), diminishing film permeability when clay nanoparticles were present, while the glass transition temperature was not influenced (P > 0.05).
    Lebensmittel-Wissenschaft und-Technologie 04/2012; 46(1). DOI:10.1016/j.lwt.2011.10.018 · 2.47 Impact Factor