Composite gels and films were prepared by the blending of hydrated gelatin as a base material and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP) at various mass ratios. A composite technology was applied to obtain improved mechanical, physicochemical, and antimicrobial properties of the gelatin used as a base material. We investigated the effects of different experimental conditions on the rheological and mechanical properties and antimicrobial activities of the composite gels, films, and solutions. The rheological values (storage modulus, loss modulus, and complex viscosity) of the composite solutions and gels increased with added HPMCP. Aerobic microorganisms, yeasts, and molds were not detected throughout the testing period in the gelatin–HPMCP composite solution. In contrast, many microorganisms were detected in the gelatin-only samples beginning with day 3 of storage. The composite films exhibited relatively good mechanical and physical properties compared with the gelatin-only film. The composite film containing HPMCP at a mass ratio greater than 1:4 did not dissolve in gastric juice (pH 1.2) for at least 2 h, but all other samples, including the gelatin-only film dissolved in enteric juice (pH 6.8). © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 39597.
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