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Tree Gum Polymers and their Modified Bioplastics for Food Packaging Application

Registration number:LTAB19007

Realization period:01.07. 2019 – 31.12. 2021

Leader at TUL:prof. Dr. Ing. Miroslav Černík, CSc.

The proposed project aims to develop biocompatible, biodegradable, thermally and mechanically stable, high barrier properties with facile manufacture schemes for bioplastic films/fibers from eco-friendly polysaccharides tree gums. The prospective food (stabilizer, thickening, gelling, encapsulating, crystallization inhibitor etc.) and non-food (cosmetic and pharmaceutical) applications of various gum polymers such gum Arabic, gum Karaya and Kondagogu gum has been widely established. The current project goals underline to fabricate and characterize bioplastic films or fibers via solution casting and electrospinning from tree gum exudates (Arabic, Karaya, and Kondagogu) and their chemically modified forms (Dodecenylsuccinic anhydride-(DDSA)-gum derivatives) or its polymeric blends with natural/synthetic polymers of biodegradables in nature. The enhancement of functional properties (physicochemical, mechanical, thermal, hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, surface area, oxygen and water vapor permeability etc.) of gums and their modified films/fibers would be investigated. Furthermore, the incorporation of various nano-fillers such clay, graphene oxide or ‘green’ plasticizers into the films/fibers will be projected for further enhancement of physicochemical properties of these bioplastic applications (as food packaging materials, and disposable stuffs) for sustainable development under the umbrella of green chemistry and technology. The evaluation of bioplastic films/ fibres and membranes for biodegradation tests as per the international standard methods such as AS4736; ASTM D5338; ASTM D6002; EN 13432; ISO 14855 (for compost exposure), ASTM D5988; ISO 17556 (for soil exposure); ASTM D6691; ASTM D6692; ISO 15314; and ISO 16221 (for marine exposure) of determining the extent of biodegradation of tree gum and its composite materials. Further, antioxidant activity, oxygen permeability, food contact migration and antibacterial efficiency to be applied for development as food packaging, disposable bags or containers applications by the quantification of the environmental benefits of the new developed materials using the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology is also intended.

General partners

Škoda AUTO
Česká Zbrojovka
FM Motol
UJV Group