Effects of extrusion temperature and plasticizers on the physical and functional properties of starch films

Heartwin A. Pyshpadass, David B. Marx, Milford A. Hanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Cornstarch, at 20% moisture content (dry basis, d.b.), was mixed with glycerol at 3:1 ratio to form the base material for extruded starch films. Stearic acid, sucrose and urea, at varying concentrations, were tested as secondary plasticizers for the starch-glycerol mixture. The ingredients were extruded at 110 and 120°C barrel temperatures to determine the effects of extrusion temperature, plasticizer type and their concentrations on the film-forming characteristics of starch, as well as their effects on selected physical and functional properties of the films. The physical and mechanical properties of the films were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and tensile testing, while the glass transition and gelatinization properties were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), The interactions between the functional groups of starch and plasticizers were investigated using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The water vapor permeability (WVP) properties of starch films were determined using ASTM standard E96-95. Scanning electron micrographs exhibited the presence of native and partially melted starch granules in the extruded films. The tensile stress, strain at break and Young's modulus of starch films ranged from 0.9 to 3.2 MPa, 26.9 to 56.2% and 4.5 to 67.7 MPa, respectively. DSC scans displayed two glass transitions in the temperature ranges of 0.1 to 1°C and 9.6 to 12°C. Multiple melting endotherms, including that of amylose-lipid complexes, were observed in the thermoplastic extrudates. The gelatinization enthalpies of the starch in the extruded films varied from 0 to 1.7 J/g, and were dependent largely on the extrusion temperature and plasticizer content. The shift in the FTIR spectral bands, as well as the appearance of doublepeaks, suggested strong hydrogen bonding interactions between the starch and plasticizers. The WVP of starch films ranged from 10.9 to 15.7 g mm h-1 m-2 kPa-1, depending on the extrusion temperature and the type of plasticizer used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)527-538
Number of pages12
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • FTIR
  • Gelatinization
  • Glass transition
  • Starch films
  • Tensile properties
  • Water vapor permeability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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