From acacia honey monosaccharide content to a new external binary plasticizer applicable in aqueous whey protein films
•The external plasticizer affects aqueous film formation of whey proteins.•Film formation of whey proteins can be modified by adjusting the solution pH.•A new monosaccharide-based binary plasticizer system is applicable in whey protein films.•Whey proteins are potential future coating agents for pharmaceutical applications.
Plasticizer is an essential adjuvant in food and pharmaceutical film coatings affecting the appearance, mechanical and permeation properties of the final coat. In the present study, film formation and plasticization of native whey proteins (potential future “green” coating agents for pharmaceuticals and food products), were studied with free isolated films. Special attention was paid to the effects of plasticizer, preheating and film forming solution pH on the mechanical stress–strain and moisture permeation properties of whey protein films. Glycerol, binary mixtures of fructose and glucose, and non-crystalline acacia honey were studied as external plasticizers. The type and amount of plasticizer affected the mechanical stress–strain properties of the whey protein films. A short preheating treatment of whey proteins prior to film casting resulted in mechanically strong films with a reduced elongation. The film forming properties of aqueous whey proteins could be modified by adjusting the pH above the isoelectric point of β-lactoglobulin prior to film coating. For effective plasticization, whey protein films required a high amount of monosaccharide containing plasticizer ranging from 80% to 120% (calculated from the protein weight). A new external binary plasticizer having the same ratio of monosaccharides as non-crystalline acacia honey (fructose and glucose 1.67:1) was found to be applicable in aqueous whey protein films.
Journal: Food and Bioproducts Processing - Volume 91, Issue 4, October 2013, Pages 440–446