Gelatinization and retrogradation phenomena in starch/montmorillonite nanocomposites plasticized with different glycerol/water ratios.Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Oct 20; 151:206-212.CP
This study aims to gain insights into the intermolecular interactions present in thermoplastic starch (TPS)/montmorillonite (MMT) nanocomposites prepared using water and/or glycerol as plasticizers. Specifically, the impact of using different glycerol/water proportions on the nature of gelatinization and retrogradation processes is studied. Nanocomposites were characterized by rheometry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-rays diffraction (XRD). It is shown that clay tactoids preferentially interact with glycerol molecules rather than starch macromolecules. Consequently, the effects of MMT incorporation strongly depend on the glycerol/water ratio; when a ratio of 0.5 is used minor variations were observed on the starch gelatinization process-although stronger clays-starch interactions were evident-whereas at higher ratios the addition of clays significantly increased the gelatinization temperature, up to values over 100°C. In the gelatinization process of starch in TPS samples having only glycerol as a plasticizer, the leaching of amylose and the melting of amylopectin crystalline domains seem to occur simultaneously. This different gelatinization mechanism produces a TPS having a substantially different morphology, which exhibited reduced retrogradation characteristics.