Characterization of Biodegradable Films Made from Taro Peel (Colocasia esculenta) Starch
Studies of renewable polymers have highlighted starch&rsquo;s role to replace petroleum-based components to produce biodegradable films with plastic-like qualities. In this study, the novelty of taro peel starch (TPS) to produce such films using the casting technique is reported for the first time. A response surface method (RSM) approach was employed to optimize different concentrations of TPS (2.5&ndash;3.5%, w/w) and glycerol (25&ndash;35%, w/w) and investigate their effects on the physico-mechanical and water barrier properties of TPS films. TPS films showed a positive linear effect (p &lt; 0.05) for thickness (0.058&ndash;0.088 mm), opacity (1.95&ndash;2.67), water vapor permeability (0.06&ndash;0.09 g&#8729;m/m2&#8729;kPa&#8729;h), and cubic effect (p &lt; 0.05) for moisture content (0.58&ndash;1.57%), which were linked to high starch concentrations when plasticized with glycerol. X-ray diffraction analysis of TPS films depicted &ldquo;amorphous&rdquo;-type crystalline structure peaks at 19.88&deg;, while the thermogravimetric analysis of the film samples exhibited 75&ndash;80% of the weight loss of TPS film in the second phase between temperatures of 300 &deg;C to 400 &deg;C. All films exhibited homogenous, transparent surfaces with flexibility, and completely degraded in 5 days in simulated river water and composting soil environments, which confirmed TPS as a promising film polymer in food packaging.