All-natural bio-plastics using starch-betaglucan composites

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Domenico Sagnelli, Jacob Judas Kain Kirkensgaard, Concetta Valeria L. Giosafatto, Natalia Ogrodowicz, Krzysztof Kruczał, Mette Skau Mikkelsen, Jean Eudes Maigret, Denis Lourdin, Kell Mortensen, Andreas Blennow

Grain polysaccharides represent potential valuable raw materials for next-generation advanced and environmentally friendly plastics. Thermoplastic starch (TPS) is processed using conventional plastic technology, such as casting, extrusion, and molding. However, to adapt the starch to specific functionalities chemical modifications or blending with synthetic polymers, such as polycaprolactone are required (e.g. Mater-Bi). As an alternative, all-natural and compostable bio-plastics can be produced by blending starch with other polysaccharides. In this study, we used a maize starch (ST) and an oat β-glucan (BG) composite system to produce bio-plastic prototype films. To optimize performing conditions, we investigated the full range of ST:BG ratios for the casting (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 BG). The plasticizer used was glycerol. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR), using TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl) as a spin probe, showed that the composite films with high BG content had a flexible chemical environment. They showed decreased brittleness and improved cohesiveness with high stress and strain values at the break. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction displayed a decrease in crystallinity at high BG content. Our data show that the blending of starch with other natural polysaccharides is a noteworthy path to improve the functionality of all-natural polysaccharide bio-plastics systems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Volume172
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
ISSN0144-8617
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Barrier properties, Beta-glucan, Bio-plastics, Composites, Starch

ID: 179120359