Bioplastic Fibers from Gum Arabic for Greener Food Wrapping Applications
AMER CHEMICAL SOC, 1155 16TH ST, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20036 USA
The fabrication of bioplastic fibers from gum arabic (GA), a natural tree gum exudate, is described via the electrospinning method. The enrichment in surface properties of this bioplastic fiber was evaluated by methane plasma and gamma-ray irradiation treatments. The fibers with their modified forms, both treated and untreated, were investigated by various characterization techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ay diffraction and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, BET surface area, water contact angle, and tensile strength measurements. A switchable hydrophobic/hydrophilic functionality on GA bioplastic fibers was established through CH4 plasma and gamma-ray irradiation treatments; higher water contact angle (130 degrees) was observed in GA bioplastic fibers that had undergone methane plasma treatment. However, the untreated and gamma-ray-irradiated GA bioplastics exhibited hydrophilic behavior. The comparative properties such as water resistance, antioxidant potency, gas barrier attributes, antibacterial effectiveness, biodegradability and food contact migration through the GA bioplastic fibers (untreated, plasma treated, and gamma-ray-irradiated) were assessed. The present work, in contrast to other existing bioplastic fibers, has the potential of becoming a viable option in greener food packaging as well as in environmental and medically related products based on tree gums.
Gum arabic, Bioplastic fibers, Electrospinning, Plasma treatment, gamma-ray irradiation, Food packaging