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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317518

Research Project: Improving the Quality of Animal Hides, Reducing Environmental Impacts of Hide Production, and Developing Value-Added Products from Wool

Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research

Title: Biopolymers produced from gelatin and chitosan using polyphenols

Author
item Taylor, Maryann
item Bumanlag, Lorelie
item Brown, Eleanor - Ellie
item Liu, Cheng Kung - Ck

Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2015
Publication Date: 12/20/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62638
Citation: Taylor, M.M., Bumanlag, L.P., Brown, E.M., Liu, C. 2015. Biopolymers produced from gelatin and chitosan using polyphenols. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 110(12):392-400.

Interpretive Summary: In prior research, we investigated the use of vegetable tannins, such as quebracho and tara, to modify gelatin. We improved the physical properties of gelatin and were able to demonstrate that these products could be used effectively in leather processing as fillers, substances which improve leather quality. Recently gelatin has been in short supply and has increasingly become more expensive so we attempted to produce the products with the same quality but less cost from modification of gelatin and other proteins (e.g.whey) using the vegetable tannin tara. These mixtures could take advantage of the unique properties of both the gelatin and the protein, and at the same time create products with enhanced functional properties. These products were found to supplement the gelatin; we further demonstrated that the resulting product could be used as a filler for leather. This present study investigated the preparation of a biopolymer using gelatin and chitosan (a carbohydrate), modified with the vegetable tannin tara, to make products that could also be used in leather making process. Chitosan, is an abundant waste product derived from crustaceans (e.g. crab). It has unique properties which enable its use in cosmetic, medical, and food applications. Optimal conditions necessary for tara to react with gelatin and chitosan were determined, and physical properties showed that unique products were produced. We thus demonstrated that gelatin/chitosan/tara products are possible, and that gelatin products could be supplemented using an inexpensive abundant waste product, chitosan.

Technical Abstract: Chitin, and its derivative chitosan, is an abundant waste product derived from crustaceans (e.g. crab). It has unique properties which enable its use in, but not limited to, cosmetic, medical, and food applications. Chitosan has recently been studied, in conjunction with other waste carbohydrates and proteins, for the purpose of making biopolymer products with unique functional properties. Furthermore, use of renewable polyphenols to assist in these reactions is a topic of growing interest. In prior research, we investigated the use of polyphenols, specifically gallic acid and the vegetable tannins quebracho and tara, to modify gelatin. We improved the physical properties of gelatin and were able to demonstrate that these products could be used effectively as fillers. At present, gelatin is scarce and becoming increasingly more expensive so we produced biopolymers from modification of gelatin and whey using the vegetable tannin tara, and made products to augment the gelatin; we further demonstrated that the resulting product could be used as a filler for leather. This present study investigated the preparation of a biopolymer using gelatin and chitosan, modified with the vegetable tannin tara, to make products that could be used in the leather making process. Optimal conditions necessary for polyphenols to react with gelatin and chitosan were determined, and physical properties showed that unique products were produced. The gels were examined for thermal stability and for fluorescence. We thus demonstrated that gelatin/chitosan/tara products are feasible, and that gelatin products could be supplemented using an inexpensive abundant waste product, chitosan.