|Hurkman Ii, William|
Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 21, 2013
Publication Date: January 15, 2014
Citation: Robertson, G.H., Cao, T., Gregorski, K.S., Hurkman II, W.J., Tanaka, C.K., Chiou, B., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J. 2014. Modification of vital wheat gluten with phosphoric acid to produce high free-solution capacity. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 131(2):1-11. Interpretive Summary: Wheat gluten is a potential resource for non-food uses that may benefit consumers in many ways but requires reformation or conversion to enhance its properties. One possible modification was investigated by which the gluten was chemically altered to increase its capacity to hold or absorb water. A natural, biodegradable adsorbent capable of adsorbing 88X the weight of the gluten was obtained. Superadsorbancy is attractive for chemical spills, drying water-damaged objects, confining body fluids from infants and from both accidental and surgical wounds.
Technical Abstract: Wheat gluten reacts with phosphoric acid to produce natural superabsorbent gels. The gel properties are defined by Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE), and uptake of water, salt solutions, and aqueous ethanol. Temperatures above 120'C and dry conditions create the opportunity for reaction. FTIR analyses indicate the presence of phosphorus ester groups on the modified gluten samples. 2DE protein composition topographies indicate a massive shift to lower pI along with extensive inter-protein linkages. FSC in excess of 85x the mass of the converted gluten is obtainable using a conservative vacuum-assisted method to recover the wet gel. Other methods produce FSC values nearly twice as high. FSC reduces drastically in the presence of solutes such as NaCl, but are reasonably stable when ethanol was a component of the test fluid adsorbate.