Technological watch

Accelerated Shelf-Life and Stability Testing of Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Films

Nonbiodegradable food packaging films are made from plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene, which can take hundreds of years to decompose and create environmental hazards. On the other hand, biodegradable food packaging films are made from renewable materials such as corn starch or cellulose, that degrade within a few weeks or months and prove to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. In this work, we used corn starch hydrolyzed (CSH) with α-amylase to prepare a film with biodegradable properties. The film was tested for 60 days at different accelerated temperatures and relative humidity (RH), 13 ± 2 °C and 65 ± 5% RH, 23 ± 2 °C and 45 ± 5% RH, and 33 ± 2 °C and 30 ± 5% RH, to test its durability and stability. Soil biodegradation of the CSH film was evaluated by visual appearance, microscopic observation, weight loss, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) every 6 days. The film was found to have strong hygroscopic properties and was able to last up to 10 months if it is maintained at 20 ± 5 °C and 45 ± 5% RH. After the biodegradability test for at least 30 days, the film showed a significantly higher weight loss rate and microbial activity on the surface of the film, which indicates that the film is biodegradable. The present work recommends biodegradable CSH films as an excellent environmentally friendly choice for dried foods packaging, due to their good shelf life at room temperature, which is beneficial when shipping and storing products, but these films are not suitable for foods with high moisture content.

Publication date: 10/02/2023

Author: Andra-Ionela Ghizdareanu

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15040889

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.