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A Solvent-Free Approach for Production of Films from Pectin and Fungal Biomass
- Gurram, Rajesh, Souza Filho, Pedro F., Taherzadeh, Mohammad J., Zamani, Akram
- Journal of polymers and the environment 2018 v.26 no.11 pp. 4282-4292
- Citrus, Rhizopus oryzae, compression molding, fungal biomass, fungi, glycerol, heat, lipid content, lipids, nutrients, pectins, permeability, protein content, proteins, scanning electron microscopy, tensile strength, wastes, water solubility, water vapor
- Self-binding ability of the pectin molecules was used to produce pectin films using the compression molding technique, as an alternative method to the high energy-demanding and solvent-using casting technique. Moreover, incorporation of fungal biomass and its effects on the properties of the films was studied. Pectin powder plasticized with 30% glycerol was subjected to heat compression molding (120 °C, 1.33 MPa, 10 min) yielding pectin films with tensile strength and elongation at break of 15.7 MPa and 5.5%, respectively. The filamentous fungus Rhizopus oryzae was cultivated using the water-soluble nutrients obtained from citrus waste and yielded a biomass containing 31% proteins and 20% lipids. Comparatively, the same strain was cultivated in a semi-synthetic medium resulting in a biomass with higher protein (60%) and lower lipid content (10%). SEM images showed addition of biomass yielded films with less debris compared to the pectin films. Incorporation of the low protein content biomass up to 15% did not significantly reduce the mechanical strength of the pectin films. In contrast, addition of protein-rich biomass (up to 20%) enhanced the tensile strength of the films (16.1–19.3 MPa). Lastly, the fungal biomass reduced the water vapor permeability of the pectin films.