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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Dairy and Functional Foods Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342919

Title: Electrospinning of guar gum/corn starch blends

item YANG, WEIQIAO - Tianjin University Of Science And Technology
item SOUSA, ANA M - Tianjin University Of Science And Technology
item LI, XIHONG - Orise Fellow
item Tomasula, Peggy
item Liu, Linshu

Submitted to: SOJ Materials Science and Engineering
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2017
Publication Date: 1/22/2017
Citation: Yang, W., Sousa, A.M., Li, X., Tomasula, P.M., Liu, L.S. 2017. Electrospinning of guar gum/corn starch blends. SOJ Materials Science and Engineering. 4(1):1-7. doi: 10.15226/sojmse.2016.00129.

Interpretive Summary: The electrospun fine fibers or fibrous mats from polysaccharides, proteins, or other biopolymers have a huge potential in functional foods and new food developments; however, these materials are difficult to electrospin unless they are in solution with a synthetic polymer, such as high molecular weight polyethylene oxide, polyvinyl alcohol, or with the natural polymer, pullulan. The synthetic polymers are not suitable for food-grade applications while pullulan is not easy to source. In this study, we found that blends of two non-spinnable food-grade polysaccharides, guar gum and starch, can be electrospun to form bead-free nano fibers. Both guar gum and starch are abundant and available at a low price. The discovery is a pioneering step that shows the possibility of taking the concept of electrospinning food-grade nanofibers from laboratory to reality.

Technical Abstract: In this study, electrospun nanofibers were prepared for the first time from aqueous blends of guar gum (GG) and corn starch with amylose contents of 27.8% (CS28) and 50% (CS50). The fiber morphology and fiber diameter sizes (FDS) were correlated with solution rheology. The spinning solutions were prepared with 3 wt% total concentration and mass ratios ranging from 4:1 to 1:4 GG/CS. The GG alone (3 wt%) was highly viscous and predominantly elastic (G’>G’’) over the range of tested frequencies. Both CS were effective rheological modifiers that facilitated the electrospinning process. Partial substitution of GG by CS decreased solution viscosity and moved the elastic plateau (G’=G’’) to higher frequencies resulting in improved fiber morphology and defect-free nanofibers with uniform FDS at an optimal GG/CS ratio of 2:1 for CS28 and of 1:1 for CS50. The sonication of CS50 prior to blending with GG was important to eliminate nanofiber defects. GG and CS are cost attractive options to produce 100% food-grade electrospun nanofibers with potential to encapsulate active food ingredients or be used to develop functional foods and other active food systems.