Amylose content and chemical modification effects on thermoplastic starch from maize – Processing and characterisation using conventional polymer equipment
A design of experiments was performed on extruded starch based materials studied in a recently published article [Chaudhary, A. L., Miler, M., Torley, P. J., Sopade, P. A., & Halley, P. J. (2008). Amylose content and chemical modification effects on the extrusion of thermoplastic starch from maize. Carbohydrate Polymers, 74 (4), 907–913] highlighting the effects of amylose content, chemical modification and extrusion on a range of maize starches. An investigation into the effects of starch type (unmodified 0–80% amylose starch; hydroxypropylated 80% amylose starch) , screw speed and ageing after moulding on final product properties such as mechanical properties (Young’s modulus, maximum stress and strain at break), moisture absorption, morphology and retrogradation are included. A full factorial design was used to study these starch type, processing and final product property relationships. Microscopy was used to observe any morphological difference between the various starch types in thermoplastic starch (TPS) blends and X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to observe changes in crystallinity over time (retrogradation). The results show that 0% amylose (waxy maize) and hydroxypropylated 80% amylose thermoplastic starches have mechanical properties comparable to that of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE), therefore these materials have the potential to be an environmentally friendly alternative to current polymer resins.