Characterization of the new biodegradable WPI/clay nanocomposite films based on kefiran exopolysaccharide.J Food Sci Technol. 2015 Jun; 52(6):3485-93.JF
Physico-mechanical, thermal and structural characteristics of nanocomposite film composed of kefiran-whey protein isolate (WPI)-montmorillonite (MMT; 1, 3 and 5 % w/w) were studied. Incorporation of MMT significantly affected the mechanical attributes of the kefiran-WPI films. The tensile strength and Young's modulus increased and the percentage of elongation at break decreased as the MMT content increased. Moisture content, moisture absorption and water solubility decreased as the MMT concentration increased. Differential scanning calorimetry indicated that the glass transition temperature for kefiran-WPI film was -12.5 °C and was noticeably affected by an increase in MMT. X-ray diffraction analysis showed formation of an exfoliated structure with the addition of small amounts of MMT to the kefiran-WPI matrix. Intercalation and some exfoliation occurred up to 5 % (wt) increase in MMT. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated ideal dispersion for MMT nanoparticles into the structure of the bio-nanocomposite films.