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Effect of corn-zein coating on the mechanical properties of polypropylene packaging films
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In this study, a novel film structure of corn zein coated on polypropylene (PP) synthetic films for food packaging applications was developed, and the mechanical properties of the resulting coated film, as affected by the coating formulation, were investigated. Composite structures of PP films coated with corn zein were obtained through a simple solvent casting method. Different amounts of corn zein (5 and 15%) were dissolved in 70 and 95% aqueous ethanol solution at 50 C. Solutions of corn zein plasticized with poly(ethylene glycol) and glycerol (GLY) at various levels (20 and 50%) were applied on corona-discharge-treated PP. A statistical analysis based on full factorial design was performed to examine the influence of the coating formulation on the final properties of the corn-zein-coated PP films. A significant (p < 0.05) improvement in the coated film’s mechanical properties was observed compared to those of the uncoated PP. The effect of the plasticization of the coating solutions was also quite significant. In general, GLY provided better improvements in the mechanical properties of the corn-zein-coated PP films. The statistical analysis of the results showed that the corn-zein and plasticizer concentrations and plasticizer type used in the coating formulations were more effective parameters and had significant effects on the mechanical behavior of the coated PP films. In conclusion, corn-zein coatings could have potential as alternatives to conventional synthetic polymers used in composite multilayer structures for food packaging applications.