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Edible bioplastics based on overripe fruit mucilage

Grant number: 19/22170-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Henrique de Morais Oliveira
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Conventional polymers obtained from non-renewable sources have become an environmental issue due to the uncertainty about the availability of fossil sources and, in most cases, the accumulation of non-biodegradable waste in nature, motivating the development of sustainable materials. The use of agro-industrial waste for this purpose represents a particularly attractive approach as it reduces waste and the cost of producing bioplastics. In a biorefinery approach, the objective of this work is the use of overripe fruits - which are traditionally discarded due to the low commercial value - for mucilage extraction and production of edible bioplastics with potential application in food packaging. In order to produce edible films with satisfactory film-forming, mechanical, and barrier properties, we herein propose the production of blends through the combination of mucilage with pectin, another low-cost edible polysaccharide. The bioplastics will be produced by lamination and casting and extensively characterized by microscopic, spectroscopic, thermal, mechanical, and water barrier techniques to support a better understanding of the correlations between chemical structure, composition, processing conditions, and properties. (AU)

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