Submitted to: American Leather Chemists Association Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2006
Publication Date: June 21, 2006
Citation: Taylor, M.M., Marmer, W.N., Brown, E.M. 2006. Effect of fillers prepared from enzymatically modified proteins on mechanical properties of leather [abstract]. American Leather Chemists Association Meeting. Paper No. 3. Technical Abstract: In recently reported research from this laboratory, it was demonstrated that fillers could be formed inside leather when gelatins alone or mixed proteins, such as gelatin and casein or gelatin and whey, were added to blue stock that had been pretreated with microbial transglutaminase. To monitor these reactions, we added fluorescently labeled proteins to stock solutions and examined the resultant filled leather using a microscope equipped with epi-fluorescent attachment. In this present study, based on our understanding of the effect that enzyme modification will have on physical properties of crosslinked proteins, we polymerized potential filler products prior to their addition to the blue stock. We characterized the products with respect to their physical properties and molecular weight distribution (degree of polymerization). These products were applied to blue stock and evaluated, again using fluorescent labels to monitor their filling capability. It was shown that the proteins were evenly distributed throughout the hide and, more importantly, were bound and not removed during the washing steps. Products showing good potential were further evaluated in scaled-up pilot experiments and the treated blue stock was then retanned, colored and fatliquored and subjected to mechanical testing. Micrographs showing the location of fillers using fluorescent labels will be presented as well subjective evaluation of the resultant leathers.