Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: For starch-based materials to replace petroleum-based resins in disposable items, their characteristic brittleness must be overcome. We recently showed proline to be an excellent plasticizer for starch. To understand the structural features key to proline's effectiveness, we evaluated the plasticizing ability of 23 natural and synthetic amino acids in starch-glycerol mixtures. These blends were extruded and showed a wide range of flexibility and strength. Mechanical properties of the blends (percent elongation and tensile strength) were correlated with amino acid structure through computer modeling and quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSPRs). The use of QSPRs as predictive tools for optimizing the structure amino acid plasticizers will be discussed.