“Investigating the Impact of Glycerol and Shea Butter on Film Properties Derived from Chitosan and Borassus aethiopum Starch Composites”

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Investigating the Impact of Glycerol and Shea Butter on Film Properties Derived from Chitosan and Borassus aethiopum Starch Composites.

Abstract:

Concerns over environmental waste management and the toxicity of petroleum-derived plastics have prompted the search for renewable, nontoxic, and biodegradable packaging materials. Starch stands out as a promising biopolymer for producing biodegradable films, yet its inherent limitations necessitate improvement through blending with other materials and plasticizers.

This study explores Borassus aethiopum shoot starch, locally known as “Muruci,” which offers a high amylose content and shows promise as a film-forming biopolymer. The research employed a completely randomized design with four factors: Borassus aethiopum shoot starch (BS), chitosan (CHI), glycerol (GLY), and shea butter (SB).

The evaluation focused on the effect of two plasticizer types, GLY and SB, used individually and in combination at varying concentrations ranging from 0 to 50% w/w on Borassus aethiopum shoot starch/chitosan films (BSCF). The films were prepared using the solution casting technique at 80°C. The starch from African Palmyra Palm (Borassus aethiopum) shoots comprised 20% of the dry weight with an amylose content of approximately 75.4%.

After testing different ratio combinations, the best films were formed with 2% w/v of chitosan and starch composites, along with 30% w/w GLY and 1% w/w SB. These films exhibited a smooth texture and lower transparency. The study analyzed various properties of BSCF, including thickness, solubility in water, tensile strength (TS), and elongation at break (EAB).

An increase in solute concentration of starch and CHI led to a significant (p<0.05) increase in the films’ TS and thickness, while solubility in water and EAB decreased. Incorporating plasticizers significantly (p<0.05) increased the films’ thickness but reduced their TS. GLY inclusion notably increased solubility and EAB (p<0.05), while the introduction of SB, either alone or with GLY, significantly reduced thickness and water solubility.

Biodegradability testing indicated that films with higher chitosan concentration in the presence of SB exhibited the longest degradation time (33 days). The transparency of BSCF was generally low, with increasing opacity observed as the solute concentrations of starch increased.

Overall, this study demonstrated that BSCF, in the presence of glycerol and low concentrations of shea butter as plasticizers, is a biodegradable film with the requisite strength and barrier properties for various applications, particularly in packaging.

Investigating the Impact of Glycerol and Shea Butter on Film Properties Derived from Chitosan and Borassus aethiopum Starch Composites.

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