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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360316

Research Project: Bioproducts from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Properties of gluten foams containing different additives

item Chiou, Bor-Sen
item Cao, Trung
item Bilbao-Sainz, Cristina
item VEGA-GALVEZ, ANTONIO - University Of La Serena
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item Orts, William - Bill

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2020
Publication Date: 5/15/2020
Citation: Chiou, B., Cao, T.K., Bilbao-Sainz, C., Vega-Galvez, A., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J. 2020. Properties of gluten foams containing different additives. Industrial Crops and Products. 152. Article 112511.

Interpretive Summary: We produced wheat gluten foams containing different additives that improved their mechanical properties. We produced these foams in a heated mold in much shorter times than other gluten-based foams reported in literature. The foams are insoluble in water and can absorb up to five times their weight in water, indicating they can be used in floral base applications. They can also be used in other packaging, insulation, and building applications. Since gluten is derived from a renewable resource and is biodegradable, the foams can be an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum derived foams.

Technical Abstract: Wheat gluten foams containing additives, such as zein, pine wood, and calcium carbonate, (CaCO3) were produced using a heated mold. The foams’ properties were characterized using compression testing, differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier Transform Infra-red (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, x-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). FTIR spectroscopy results indicated that foams were more aggregated than gluten powder. The addition of zein, pine wood, and CaCO3 led to significant increases in compressive modulus and strength values. The sample containing 10 wt% pine wood had the highest modulus value of 4.46 ± 0.16 MPa and the sample containing 5 wt% CaCO3 had the highest strength value of 0.40 ± 0.2 MPa. SEM micrographs showed compatibility of gluten with pine wood and CaCO3, which indicated effective stress transfer between gluten matrix and additives. Also, the foams had water uptake values that were more than two times that of gluten powder.