Biodegradation of mango seed starch films in soil

Biodegradation of mango seed starch films in soil. IIUM Engineering Journal, 23 (1). pp. 258-267. ISSN 1511-788X (2022)


The typical petroleum-based plastics have triggered environmental problems. For this purpose, biodegradable polymers such as starch are often used to manufacture biodegradable plastics. At present, the efforts are underway to extract starch as a promising biopolymer from mango seeds and subsequently to produce a biodegradable starch film to be used as plastic packaging. As such, in this work, glycerol-plasticized mango starch films were prepared using a solution casting process, using different amounts of citric acid as a cross-linking agent. The blend ratio of starch to glycerol was set at 3:5 wt. each, while the amount of citric acid ranged from 0 to 10 wt.%. Then, the casted films underwent 21 days of soil burial testing in the natural environment to determine their biodegradability behavior. The soil burial test is one of the common methods chosen to assess the biodegradability of polymers. The idea is that, by burying samples in the soil for a fixed time, samples are exposed to microorganisms (i.e. bacteria and fungi) present in the soil that serve as their food source. This is somehow likely to facilitate the process of deterioration. For this reason, the soil burial test can be regarded as an authentic approach to the process of deterioration in the natural environment. The films' susceptibility to biodegradation reactions was assessed within intervals of seven days through their physical appearance and weight loss. Interestingly, it was found that the cross-linked starch films have been observed to degrade slower than the non-cross-linked starch films as burial time progressed. The declining percentages of weight loss, as well as the presence of microorganisms and eroded surface on the films observed by SEM, explained the degradation behavior of the cross-linked starch films compared to the non-cross-linked starch films. Hence it is believed that cross-linked starch-glycerol films are biodegradable in soil, henceforth, the potential to be commercialized as a biodegradable packaging material soon. At the same time, this plastic packaging is expected to be recognized as a value-added product since the raw materials ergo mango seeds utilized to develop this product are from waste, therefore, environmentally friendly.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Mango seed, Starch, Biodegradable polymer, Soil burial
Taxonomy: By Subject > College of Engineering > Chemical Engineering > Biotechnology & Bioprocess
By Subject > College of Engineering > Chemical Engineering > Polymer Technology
Local Content Hub: Subjects > College of Engineering
Depositing User: Eza Eliana Abdul Wahid
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2022 11:30
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 11:30
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