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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 27;56(16):7067-75. doi: 10.1021/jf800712k. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Chemistry and physical properties of melt-processed and solution-cross-linked corn zein.

Author information

  • 1Plant Polymer Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1815 North University Street, Peoria, Illinois 61604, USA. David.Sessa@ars.usda.gov

Abstract

Corn zein was cross-linked with glutaraldehyde (GDA) using glacial acetic acid (HAc) as catalyst. The objectives are to evaluate the swelling characteristics of GDA cross-linked zein gels in water, ethanol, and their combinations. Similar formulations, upon solvent evaporation, form films. The mechanical properties of the films are compared to compression molded tensile bars from GDA melt-processed zein as a second objective. Chemistry of the cross-linking reaction was based on the aldehyde binding characteristics defined by use of fluorescence spectroscopy; sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to demonstrate the cross-linking reaction; FTIR to observe absorption differences of the cross-linked product; differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis and thermogravimetric analysis to assess thermal properties; and the use of Instron Universal Testing Machine to evaluate mechanical properties. A reaction mechanism for acid catalyzed GDA cross-linking of zein is proposed. Thermal and mechanical properties of tensile bars cut from either film or formed by compression molding were similar, where both showed increased tensile strengths, ductility and stiffness when compared with unmodified controls. Samples that were reacted with 8% GDA by weight based on weight of zein from either process retained their integrity when tensile bars from each were subjected to boiling water for 10 min or soaking in either water or HAc for 24 h. The melt-processed, cross-linked zein is a more environmentally friendly method that would eliminate the need for HAc recovery.

PMID:
18636736
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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