Get access

Mechanical and barrier properties of thermoplastic whey protein isolate/ethylene vinyl acetate blends

Authors


ABSTRACT

Crude oil is becoming scarcer and more expensive, resulting in alternative biobased or partially biobased materials gaining importance in the field of plastic packaging and encouraging the development of naturally derived, protein-based plastics (Endres, 2009; Jones and McClements, Compreh. Rev. Food Sci. Food Safety 2010, 9, 374; Khwaldia et al., Compreh. Rev. Food Sci. Food Safety 2010, 9, 374). A strategy to improve extrusion processing behavior of proteins is the blending with other polymers. In this study ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) was used for such purpose. The aim of this study was to determine the properties of blends of thermoplastic whey protein (TPP) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). Mechanical and barrier properties were tested. Blends of differing TPP/EVA ratio were produced and extruded into flat films. Morphological analysis of the blends shows immiscibility of the TPP and EVA, greatly influencing the mechanical properties. Young's modulus measurements shows the values approached that of pure EVA with increasing EVA ratios. At values of about 21 MPa, corresponding to EVA ratios of 30% (w/w) and above, continuous extrusion including material take-off was possible. At higher whey protein ratios in the blends the water vapor transmission rate increased, i.e., the higher water vapor transmission rate of whey protein compared with EVA dominated this property. This study showed that whey proteins can be utilized for extrusion by blending with EVA. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 41172.

Ancillary