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Water vapor and oxygen-barrier performance of corn-zein coated polypropylene films
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A novel corn-zein coating structure on polypropylene (PP) films was developed to examine its feasibility as an alternative water vapor and oxygen-barrier for flexible packaging industry. The barrier properties of the resulting films were evaluated as affected by coating formulation (solvent, corn-zein, plasticizer concentration and plasticizer type). Corn-zein with different amounts (5% and 15%) was dissolved in 70% and 95% aqueous ethanol solution at 50 °C, respectively. Solutions of corn-zein plasticized by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and glycerol (GLY) with various levels (20% and 50%) were applied on corona-discharged-treated PP by using solvent-casting method. The significant improvements in water vapor and oxygen-barrier properties of uncoated PP films were obtained with corn-zein coating. Water vapor permeability (WVP) of the coated films decreased significantly with increasing corn-zein concentration. The application of plasticized corn-zein coating on PP films showed nearly more than three order of reduction in oxygen permeability (OP). The high water vapor and oxygen-barriers were obtained for films coated with coating formulation consisting of higher amounts of corn-zein plasticized by GLY. The statistical analysis defined the key parameters of coating formulation that had major effect on the final properties of coated PP films as corn-zein, plasticizer concentration, and plasticizer type. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.