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Development and characterization of hybrid corn starch-microalgae films: Effect of ultrasound pre-treatment on structural, barrier and mechanical performance

AuthorsFabra, María José ; Martínez-Sanz, Marta; Gómez-Mascaraque, Laura G. ; Coll, José María ; Martínez, Juan Carlos; López-Rubio, Amparo
KeywordsNannocloropsis gaditana sp.
Barrier properties
Contact angle
Issue Date6-Nov-2017
CitationAlgal Research 28: 80-87 (2017)
AbstractThis work is aimed at evaluating the ability of the microalgae to partially substitute biodegradable materials with improved physicochemical properties. To this end, starch films containing the microalga Nannochloropsis gaditana sp. (N. gaditana) have been developed and characterized. Initially, different ultrasound treatments were evaluated for microalgae cell wall disruption. Although surfactant-aided sonication was the most efficient disruption method, the presence of the surfactant hampered continuous film formation. Subsequently, the ability of intact and ultrasound-treated N. gaditana cells to improve barrier properties of starch films was evaluated. Combined small and wide angle X-ray scattering experiments (SAXS/WAXS, respectively) evidenced slight nanostructural and crystallinity changes induced by the presence of N. gaditana cells. Incorporation of intact or ultrasound-treated microalgae into starch led to more hydrophobic films, with enhanced barrier properties for most of the formulations. However, the films containing the microalgae treated with the greatest ultrasound intensity, did not show any barrier improvement due to the plasticization promoted by the cell components (probably lipids) released during the ultrasound treatment, as suggested by SAXS/WAXS and the mechanical properties.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2017.10.010
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