RICOA, M.; RODRÍGUEZ, S.; BARRALA, L.; BOUZAA, R.; MONTERO, B.:
Carbohydrate Polymers, 149, 83-93 (2016).
Biocomposites suitable for short-life applications such as food packaging were prepared by melt processing and investigated. Biocomposites studied are wheat starch plasticized with two different molecular weight polyols (glycerol and sorbitol) and reinforced with various amounts of microcrystalline cellulose. The effect of the plasticizer type and the filler amount on the processing properties, the crystallization behavior and morphology developed for the materials, and the influence on thermal stability, dynamic mechanical properties and water absorption behavior were investigated. Addition of microcrystalline cellulose led to composites with good filler-matrix adhesion where the stiffness and resistance to humidity absorption were improved. The use of sorbitol as a plasticizer of starch also improved the stiffness and water uptake behavior of the material as well as its thermal stability. Biodegradable starch-based materials with a wide variety of properties can be tailored by varying the polyol plasticizer type and/or by adding microcrystalline cellulose filler.