DUFRESNE, A.; CASTAÑO, J.:
Starch/Staerke, 69,1-2 (2017).
Non-biodegradable materials have caused serious environmental problems due to their inappropriate discard. Biodegradable and renewable polymers (e.g., polysaccharides), when reinforced with nanostructures, have been used to produce novel, efficient and eco-friendly materials with adequate thermo-mechanical properties as alternatives to replace conventional materials. The main advantages of fillers extracted from renewable sources in comparison with inorganic fillers are their reinforcing capability, low energy consumption, high specific mechanical performance, abundance, low density, and biodegradability. Reinforcing starch with polysaccharide nanoparticles is an appealing approach since both components are polar by nature and no compatibilization is required. These characteristics make them ideal candidates for the processing of polymer nanocomposites and their use in different applications such as food packaging, medical and pharmaceutical. Acid hydrolysis is the main strategy for preparing polysaccharide nanoparticles. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the preparation, characterization and properties of starch reinforced with polysaccharide nanomaterials. Future research needs in the area of polysaccharide nanomaterials are outlined.