Green Development of Biodegradable Films Based on Native Yam (Dioscoreaceae) Starch Mixtures

PS Hornung, S Avila, Kabo Masisi, L Malunga, Trust Beta, RH Ribani, MLE Schnitzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mixtures of starch comprising starches from different botanical origins and
species can improve the mechanical properties of films and coatings. Here, the
aim is to develop a sustainable process of starch modification to obtain enhanced
starch films through mixing three Dioscoreaceae starches and to study the films
resultant mechanical (tensile strength and elongation at break), thermal (glass
transition and melting temperature), and physicochemical (moisture, solubility,
thickness, color, transparency, light transmission, water vapor permeability,
crystallinity, and surface uniformity) properties. The films obtained after the
mixing process show low moisture content and high transparency, high solubility
desirable for biodegradability, and significantly different thickness. An improved
light barrier is achieved and water vapor permeability barrier properties are
obtained. Using differential scanning calorimetry, it is observed that the glass
transition temperature of the films decreased. The starch mixture improves the
mechanical characteristics of the films by 200% for tensile strength and 232% for
elongation at break. After mixing, the films show increased crystallinity and no
crack or pinholes in their surface. These findings demonstrate that the yamstarch
mixtures form strong and flexible films suitable for various industrial
products through a simple green process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1700234
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Sept 15 2018


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