Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/29/2005
Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Citation: Foulk, J.A., Bunn, J.M. 2006. Factors influencing the duration of lag phase during in vitro biodegradation of compression-molded, acetylated biodegradable soy protein films. Journal of Food Science. Interpretive Summary: In the several years, research has centered around the idea of using biopolymers (biobased polymers) to produce environmentally friendly products. Demand for polymers produced from renewable natural resources has grown as environmental concerns increase. Basic production, handling, and degradation of these products must be understood to enhance their usefulness. This research provides degradation work performed on recently developed protein-based materials. U.S. industries and farmers are interested because the use of renewable natural resources could aid U. S. based farms and industries.
Technical Abstract: In order to make use of and exploit commercially biodegradable protein- based materials, environmental degradation research is essential to provide information pertinent to the basic production and handling properties of such materials. Acclimated (microorganisms which are adapted or accustomed to an environment) and unacclimated microorganisms were investigated to estimate the lag phase degradation parameters for soy protein-based materials. These materials were formed under various compression-molding conditions. SUPRO 620 and acetylated soy protein isolate thermoplastic films, SY7 and SY23, were biodegraded in an aqueous environment. Before full degradation developed, a lag phase was observed for the acclimated an unacclimated microorganisms with the unacclimated microorganisms requiring longer periods prior to degradation. A comparison of lag phases showed that ther were no statistical differences between SY7 and SY23 films but, lag phases for the unmodified SUPRO 620 material were significantly shorter. Growth lag values of acclimated microrganisms ranged from 73.4 to 9.3 h.