Submitted to: Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2012
Publication Date: 12/14/2012
Citation: Ramos, M., Castell, J., Muir, Z.E., Schreyer, S., Adzet, D., Sabe, R. 2012. Decorin content and near infrared spectroscopy analysis of dried collagenous biomaterial samples. Biomolecules EISSN 2218-273X. DOI: 10.3390/biom2040622. Interpretive Summary: It is necessary for the tanning industry to find ways to produce materials comparable to leather with reduced amount of wastewater and chemicals discharged to the environment. A waterless dehydration method developed by the AIICA scientists in Spain generated a product called Dried Collagenous Biomaterial (BCD). BCD has comparable physical properties to leather. The scientists from USDA-ARS have collaborated with scientists in Spain by developing methods that can monitor drying during this alternative tanning process. This new alcohol drying method is superior to the old tanning process, and is quite economical because the alcohol can be collected, recycled, and reused.
Technical Abstract: The efficient removal of proteoglycans, such as decorin, from hide when processing it traditionally to leather is generally acceptable and beneficial for leather quality, especially for softness and flexibility. The objective of this research was to determine the residual decorin content of dried collagenous biomaterial (BCD) generated from a patented dehydration method or an alternative waterless tanning process, and also to correlate the residual decorin content to the mechanical properties of the leather product. Decorin is a minor proteoglycan (composed of protein and carbohydrate) of skin that is among the key components that undergo changes and removal during conversion of hides to leather. An assay technique compatible to the BCD material was developed. It is based on the previously established method utilizing Alcian Blue colorimetric technique of the sulfated glycosaminoglycan (SGAG) or carbohydrate portion of the proteoglycan molecule. Any structural changes that could take place in the differently acetone treated hides to obtain the varied BCD samples are also monitored by using a non-invasive near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy technique. The NIR spectra are evaluated and analyzed utilizing Principal Component Analysis (PCA). The BCD samples dried with acetone for four to five times, generated a crust leather product of comparable mechanical properties to the traditionally tanned crust leather.