Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2013
Publication Date: 3/1/2014
Citation: Taylor, M.M., Lee, J., Bumanlag, L.P., Latona, R.J., Brown, E.M. 2014. Biopolymers produced from gelatin and other sustainable resources using polyphenols. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 109:82-88.
Interpretive Summary: Products, made from the reaction of the chemicals found in vegetable tannins with agricultural waste proteins and/or carbohydrate combinations, have recently been investigated. These mixtures could take advantage of the unique properties of both proteins and/or carbohydrates and at the same time create products with enhanced functional properties. We have demonstrated that gelatin and whey protein concentrate (WPC) individually can be reacted with vegetable tannins to give products that could be used in leather processing, for example as fillers or coatings. When the products were used as fillers, improvements in the quality of the leather were seen. In this ongoing study, we assessed the potential of tara-modified gelatin/WPC combinations, specifically for their application as fillers. Changes in concentrations for gelatin/WPC combinations as well as the tara concentrations were explored, and the results of product characterization using analyses of the physical properties (e.g., viscosity) are presented. These studies could promote the use of renewable resources in production of unique products that may have leather processing application.
Technical Abstract: Several researchers have recently demonstrated the feasibility of producing biopolymers from the reaction of polyphenolics with gelatin in combination with other proteins (e.g. whey) or with carbohydrates (e.g. chitosan and pectin). These combinations would take advantage of the unique properties of both species, and at the same time create products with enhanced functional properties. We have successfully demonstrated that the polyphenolic gallic acid and the vegetable tannins quebracho and tara could be used to modify gelatin and whey protein concentrate (WPC) resulting in a subsequent change in the physicochemical properties of each. When gelatin-polyphenolic products were used as fillers, considerable improvements were seen in the subjective properties of the leather and when compared to control samples, there was no significant impact on mechanical properties. In this continuing research, we have begun to evaluate the potential of tara-modified gelatin/WPC biopolymers, specifically for their application as fillers. In this study, modification parameters for gelatin/WPC combinations were explored, and the results of product characterization using physicochemical analyses are presented. These studies could further contribute to the use of sustainable resources in production of unique products that may have leather processing application.