Effect of chitosan addition in starch and poly(lactic acid) sheets produced by extrusion

Matheus Luz Alberti, Sílvio José de Souza, Heliberto Gonçalves, Fabio Yamashita, Marianne Ayumi Shirai


The use of blends containing biodegradable polymers like starch and poly (lactic acid) (PLA) has gained considerable attention, especially for the food packaging production. Current research has also highlighted the use of chitosan because their antimicrobial activity, biodegradability and applicability in the production of active biodegradable food packaging. The objective of this work was to produce cassava starch and PLA sheets incorporated with chitosan by flat extrusion process (calendering-extrusion), and evaluate the mechanical, water vapor barrier and microstructural properties. In order to simplify the obtainment of the material reducing processing steps, all components of the blend were homogenized in one step extrusion The incorporation of chitosan in the starch/PLA sheets decreased significantly the tensile strength, Young's modulus, elongation at break and density. In addition, the scanning electron microscopy images showed the formation of non-homogeneous mixtures with the presence of pores between the blend compounds, and this fact affected the water vapor barrier properties increasing water vapor permeability, solubility and diffusion coefficients. It was possible to conclude that although the incorporation of chitosan to the starch/PLA sheets has not contributed to obtain materials with suitable properties, it was able to produce them by calendering-extrusion process in pilot scale. Studies about chitosan incorporation in starch and PLA sheets still needed.


DOI: 10.14685/rebrapa.v6i1.208



Biodegradable polymer; Mechanical properties; Mass transfer; Microstructure

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DOI: 10.14685/rebrapa.v6i1.208


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