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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Foamed Articles Based on Potato Starch, Corn Fiber and Poly (Vinyl Alcohol)

Authors
item Cinelli, Patrizia - UNIV OF PISA, ITALY
item Chiellini, Emo - UNIV OF PISA, ITALY
item Lawton Jr, John
item Imam, Syed

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 2004
Publication Date: May 12, 2006
Citation: Cinelli, P., Chiellini, E., Lawton Jr, J.W., Imam, S.H. 2006. Foamed articles based on potato starch, corn fiber and poly (vinyl alcohol). J. Biodegradation and Stability, 91:1147-1155.

Interpretive Summary: Single-use packaging materials are generally produced from petroleum based polymers such as polystyrene (EPS),which is non-biodegradable and is also difficult to collect and/or recycle. Because of the heightened environmental concerns, efforts are being made worldwide to find an eco-compatible alternative to EPS. As a substitute for polystyrene, packaging trays were prepared by baking aqueous mixtures of potato starch, corn fibers, and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) inside a hot mold. Addition of PVA greatly improved the strength, flexibility, and water resistance of baked starch trays.

Technical Abstract: Single-use packaging materials are conventionally produced from expanded polystyrene (EPS), a non-biodegradable polymer that is difficult to collect and/or recycle. Because of the heightened environmental concerns, efforts are being made worldwide to find an eco-compatible alternative to EPS. Potato starch based foamed plates prepared by a baking process are described here. Specifically, packaging trays were prepared by baking aqueous mixtures of potato starch, corn fibers, and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) inside a hot mold. The impact of corn fiber on the mechanical properties and moisture resistance of product was investigated. The addition of corn fiber to potato starch batter increased both the baking time as well as the batter volume needed to form a complete tray. The flexural property was impacted with added corn fiber. As oppose to the previous studies where PVA was added as aqueous solution to improve strength, flexibility, and water resistance of baked starch trays, in this study, PVA was added as a powder in the mixture, avoiding the time consuming and costly step of pre-dissolving the PVA. The addition of PVA to potato starch batters containing corn fiber mitigated the reduction in tensile properties seen in trays with added corn fiber. Starch trays produced with a high fiber and PVA contents showed improved water resistance.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014