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Investigation of Morphological, Chemical, and Thermal Properties of Biodegradable Food Packaging Films Synthesised by Direct Utilisation of Cassava (Monihot esculanta) Bagasse

The utilisation of edible sources of starch such as corn, wheat, potato, and cassava has become the common approach to develop biodegradable food packaging. However, the future food security issue from the wide application of such edible starch sources has become a major concern. Consequently, exploring non-edible sources of starch for starch-based biodegradable food packaging and their property enhancement have become one of the common research interests. Although there has been a great potentials of synthesising biodegradable food packaging by direct utilisation of agro-industrial waste cassava bagasse, there have been very limited studies on this. In this context, the current study investigated the potential of developing biodegradable food packaging by directly using cassava bagasse as an alternative matrix. Two film-forming mixtures were prepared by incorporating glycerol (30% and 35%), powdered cassava bagasse and water. The films were hot-pressed at 60 °C, 100 °C, and 140 °C temperatures under 0.28 t pressure for 6 min. The best film-forming mixture and temperature combination was further tested with 0.42 t and 0.84 t pressures, followed by analysing their morphology, functional group availability and the thermal stability. Accordingly, application of 35% glycerol, with 100 °C, 0.42 t temperature and pressure, respectively, were found to be promising for film preparation. The absence of starch agglomerates in film surfaces with less defects suggested satisfactory dispersion and compatibility of starch granules and glycerol. The film prepared under 0.42 t exhibited slightly higher thermal stability. Synthesised prototypes of food packaging and the obtained characterisation results demonstrated the high feasibility of direct utilisation of cassava bagasse as an alternative, non-edible matrix to synthesise biodegradable food packaging.

Publication date: 02/02/2023

Author: Vindya Thathsaranee Weligama Thuppahige

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15030767

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.