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Research Project: New Sustainable Processing Technologies to Produce Healthy, Value-Added Foods from Specialty Crops

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Title: Preparation of zein fibers using solution blow spinning method

item LIU, FEI - Jiangnan University
item Avena-Bustillos, Roberto
item Woods, Rachelle
item Chiou, Bor-Sen
item Williams, Tina
item Wood, Delilah - De
item Bilbao-Sainz, Cristina
item Yokoyama, Wallace - Wally
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item McHugh, Tara
item ZHONG, FANG - Jiangnan University

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/19/2016
Publication Date: 11/9/2016
Citation: Liu, F., Avena-Bustillos, R.D., Woods, R., Chiou, B., Williams, T.G., Wood, D.F., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Yokoyama, W.H., Glenn, G.M., McHugh, T.H., Zhong, F. 2016. Preparation of zein fibers using solution blow spinning method. Journal of Food Science. 81(12):N3015-N3025. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13537.

Interpretive Summary: In this study, solution blow spinning was employed to produce zein fibers. Zein solutions with different concentrations were prepared in acetic acid, and their surface tension and rheological properties were measured accordingly. Zein concentration, feed rate and air pressure were firstly analyzed to obtain the SBS fabrication conditions of zein fibers. Fiber morphology and diameter were determined using scanning electron microscopy. A Box–Behnken experimental design was further used to evaluate the statistical significance of the preferred parameters under consideration, thus predicting and optimizing the diameter of zein fibers in the solution blow spinning process. Zein fibers fabricated successfully via solution blow spinning using acetic acid as solvent showed promise as bioactive compounds carriers for controlled release applications.

Technical Abstract: Zein fibers were successfully fabricated via solution blow spinning (SBS) using acetic acid as solvent. Surface tension, viscosity and modulus of zein solutions were respectively determined by force tensiometer and rheometer. Increases of these properties were observed with an increase of concentration from 20 to 35% (w/w). The fabrication conditions of zein fibers were initially investigated as a function of zein concentration (25 to 35% w/w), feed rate (0.04 to 0.1 mL/min) and air pressure (40 to 90 psig). The average fiber diameter (AFD) ranged from 174 to 9,595 nm based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM). A Box–Behnken experimental design (BBD) was further performed to identify and quantify the significance of above parameters. The statistical analysis showed that the linear coefficient of concentration, the quadratic term of concentration as well as the interaction between concentration and air pressure were demonstrated statistically significant. Optimal conditions, with an AFD of 138 nm, could be obtained in the SBS of zein fibers by combining a concentration of 23% (w/w), a feed rate of 0.04 mL/min and an air pressure of 55 psig. The moisture sorption capacity of fibers increased slightly as AFD decreased from ~550 to ~200 nm, with an increase of BET surface area from 116.5 to 140.0 m2/g.