Special Issue "Starch-Based Composites"

A special issue of Polymers (ISSN 2073-4360). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomacromolecules, Biobased and Biodegradable Polymers".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Farayde Matta Fakhouri
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC BarcelonaTech), 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: biopolymers; biocomposites; starch; agro-wastes; food packaging
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. José Ignacio Velasco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Poly2 Group, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC BarcelonaTech), ESEIAAT, C/Colom 11, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
Interests: polymers; composites; foams; nanocomposites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The need for the development of green materials coming from renewable sources, able to degrade with no impact for the environment, while keeping the carbon cycle in balance, has become more urgent than ever. This is a big challenge for the scientific community. Research toward the development of biodegradable materials with improved properties and balance of functionality has grown dramatically during the last few years, and a lot of efforts are applied to reduce the gap between the properties of bioplastics and biocomposites and those of conventional materials. Different solutions, such as application of nanotechnologies and incorporation of active components into a matrix, broaden the possibilities to enhance the properties of bioplastics, while at the same time improving the cost–benefit balance.

In this context, different types of native and modified starches, blends with other biopolymers, as well as composites with (nano)fillers and (nano)fibers are being widely studied. Starch is present in a vast number of vegetal species, and hence with a very high availability, and materials synthetized with this polymer can ideally be not only biodegradable but also edible.

Therefore, the aim of this Special Issue is to share the newest original research works and reviews dedicated to starch-based composites and their present or near future applications.

Prof. Dr. Farayde Matta Fakhouri
Prof. Dr. José Ignacio Velasco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Polymers is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • starch
  • biopolymers
  • biocomposites
  • starch-based plastics
  • nanocomposites
  • biofilms
  • renewable sources
  • bioplastics
  • biodegradable polymers

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of Thermal Processing on Flow Properties and Stability of Thickened Fluid Matrices Formulated by Tapioca Starch, Hydroxyl Distarch Phosphate (E-1442), and Xanthan Gum Associating Dysphagia-Friendly Potential
Polymers 2021, 13(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010162 - 04 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The flow behavior of the administrated fluid matrices demands careful assessments for stability when consumed by individuals with dysphagia. In the present study, we incorporated tapioca starch (TS), hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (HDP), and xanthan gum (XG) as thickeners into different nectars (300 ± [...] Read more.
The flow behavior of the administrated fluid matrices demands careful assessments for stability when consumed by individuals with dysphagia. In the present study, we incorporated tapioca starch (TS), hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate (HDP), and xanthan gum (XG) as thickeners into different nectars (300 ± 20 mPa.s) undergoing thermal processing and evaluated their stability. The thickened nectars presented better water holding and oil binding capacities at 25 °C than 4 °C, and the nectars with TS provided the best results for both capacities as well as the highest solubility index and swelling power (p < 0.05). All prepared nectars appeared to be shear-thinning fluids with yield stress closely fitting the power law and Casson models. XG-containing nectars presented a higher yield stress and consistency index. Matrices thickened by HDP exhibited a higher viscoelastic property compared to those thickened by TS during thermal processing. TS nectars presented viscous behavior, whereas HDP and XG nectars presented elastic behavior at 80 °C processing. The 3 min thermal processing HDP nectars remained stable and met dysphagia-friendly requirements under 4 °C storage for 28 days, regardless of the type of fluid base (distilled water, sport drink, or orange juice). The employed thickeners present adequate physicochemical properties to be potentially utilized for producing dysphagia-friendly formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch-Based Composites)
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Article
Effect of the Incorporation of Polycaprolactone (PCL) on the Retrogradation of Binary Blends with Cassava Thermoplastic Starch (TPS)
Polymers 2021, 13(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13010038 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
The effects of incorporating polycaprolactone (PCL) in three binary blends with cassava thermoplastic starch (TPS) at TPS/PCL ratios of 60/40, 50/50, and 40/60 were studied. TPS previously obtained by single-screw extrusion was manually mixed with PCL and then transformed by extrusion. The results’ [...] Read more.
The effects of incorporating polycaprolactone (PCL) in three binary blends with cassava thermoplastic starch (TPS) at TPS/PCL ratios of 60/40, 50/50, and 40/60 were studied. TPS previously obtained by single-screw extrusion was manually mixed with PCL and then transformed by extrusion. The results’ analysis focused mainly on monitoring the retrogradation phenomenon in TPS for different storage times at two relative humidities (29% and 54%) and constant temperature (25 °C). With the plasticization of the starch, a predominantly amorphous mass was generated, as evidenced by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) results. The results suggested that two opposite processes coexisted simultaneously: retrogradation, which stiffened the material, and plasticization, which softened it, with the latter mechanism predominating at short times and reversing at longer times. With the incorporation of PCL, immiscible blends were obtained in which TPS was the dispersed phase; the mechanical properties improved with the amount of PCL added. The properties of the binary blends as a function of time showed a trend similar to that observed for TPS alone; this finding indicated that the TPS/PCL interactions were not strong enough to affect the structural changes in the TPS, which continued to occur regardless of the PCL content. Finally, it was found that for the binary blend, the relative humidity during storage was more significant to the retrogradation phenomenon than the amount of PCL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch-Based Composites)
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Article
Antimicrobial Activity and GC-MS Profile of Copaiba Oil for Incorporation into Xanthosoma mafaffa Schott Starch-Based Films
Polymers 2020, 12(12), 2883; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12122883 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
The present study evaluated the effect of the incorporation of copaiba oil, in direct and in microencapsulated form, into films based on Xanthosoma mafaffa Schott starch. Initially, the characterization of copaiba oil by gas chromatograph coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and its antimicrobial [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the effect of the incorporation of copaiba oil, in direct and in microencapsulated form, into films based on Xanthosoma mafaffa Schott starch. Initially, the characterization of copaiba oil by gas chromatograph coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and its antimicrobial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria was performed. The films were produced by the casting technique and characterized in relation to physical, chemical, structural, and antimicrobial activity. Sesquiterpenes, mainly β-caryophyllene, were the predominant compounds in copaiba oil, showing antimicrobial activity against B. subtilis and S. aureus. The films showed forming capacity, however, was observed a decrease in solubility and revealed an increase in hydrophobic characteristics. However, the oil reduced the tensile strength and elongation, while the microcapsules did not influence the mechanical properties in comparison to the control film. From microstructure analysis, changes in the films roughness and surface were observed after the addition of oil both directly and in microencapsulated form. Films incorporated with microparticles were able to inhibit the gram-positive bacteria tested, forming inhibition zones, indicating that the encapsulation of copaiba oil was more efficient for protecting bioactive compounds from the oil, suggesting the possible application of mangarito starch-based films incorporated with copaiba oil as biodegradable packaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch-Based Composites)
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Review

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Review
A Comprehensive Review on Corn Starch-Based Nanomaterials: Properties, Simulations, and Applications
Polymers 2020, 12(9), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12092161 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1296
Abstract
Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the major food crops, and it is considered to be a very distinctive plant, since it is able to produce a large amount of the natural polymer of starch through its capacity to utilize large [...] Read more.
Corn (Zea mays L.) is one of the major food crops, and it is considered to be a very distinctive plant, since it is able to produce a large amount of the natural polymer of starch through its capacity to utilize large amounts of sunlight. Corn starch is used in a wide range of products and applications. In recent years, the use of nanotechnology for applications in the food industry has become more apparent; it has been used for protecting against biological and chemical deterioration, increasing bioavailability, and enhancing physical properties, among other functions. However, the high cost of nanotechnology can make it difficult for its application on a commercial scale. As a biodegradable natural polymer, corn starch is a great alternative for the production of nanomaterials. Therefore, the search for alternative materials to be used in nanotechnology has been studied. This review has discussed in detail the properties, simulations, and wide range of applications of corn starch-based nanomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch-Based Composites)
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