The flower of Strelitzia reginae
generates abundant and viscous mucilage as exudate, which is purified in periods of heating–cooling, and finally precipitated with ethanol, obtaining strelitzia gum (StrG). By means of intrinsic viscosity measurement, the viscometric molecular weight (MWv
) is determined, with a value of 200,000 g/mol, as well as a hydrodynamic radius of 20 ± 1 nm and a hydration value of 445 ± 34 g/g. The size of StrG was compared against dynamic light scattering data with a value of 16 ± 2 nm and a MWDLS
of 230,000 g/mol. StrG is a biopolyelectrolyte with an “a
” value of 0.85, which corresponds to a flexible behavior with a great effect of volume exclusion. This statement is based on the difficulty of gum dissolution, that should be performed at 80 °C. This macromolecule is very promising and can potentially be used in several industrial applications, such as in film forming, and as a gel, thickener, and coemulsifier.
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