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Heikkinen, S. L., Mikkonen, K. S., Koivisto, P., Heikkilä, M. I., Pirkkalainen, K., Liljeström, V., Serimaa, R., and Tenkanen, M. (2014). "Long-term physical stability of plasticized hemicellulose films," BioRes. 9(1), 906-921.

Abstract

Oat spelt arabinoxylan (OsAX) and spruce galactoglucomannan (GGM) are hemicelluloses that can be extracted in large quantities from side-streams of the agriculture and forest industries. They both form self-standing films, making them potential future packaging materials. This systematic study focuses on the effect of long-term storage on the physical stability of hemicellulose-based films. OsAX and GGM films were plasticized with 40% (w/w of the polysaccharide) of glycerol, sorbitol, or their blends, and their stability was followed for four months. Ageing especially affected the glycerol-containing films, in which the tensile strength and Young’s modulus increased and elongation at break decreased. Although the mechanical properties were altered, storage did not affect crystallinity of the films. Oxygen gas permeability (OP) and water vapor permeability (WVP) properties were monitored in OsAX films. Interestingly WVP decreased during storage; more than a 40% decrease was seen when plasticizer blends contained 50% or more glycerol. In contrast, there were no drastic changes in the OP during storage; all the OPs obtained were between 3.7 and 8.9 [cm3 µm/ (m2 d kPa)].
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