Collage of Food Science and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, China; Sino-Singapore International Joint Research Institute, Knowledge City, Guangzhou 510663, China. Electronic address: [Email]
Edible starch film reinforced by laver was developed and characterized. The relationship between processing technologies, microstructures and performances was established. When the laver was added into cold starch suspension, the laver flack (fiber) simply act as reinforcing agent to improve the mechanical properties of the starch matrix, which results in increasing modulus and tensile strength. When the laver was added into hot starch suspension and mixed under shear stress, the protein containing in laver will release out and mix with starch, which results in a starch-protein-laver fiber hybrid composites. In the hybrids system, fiber improves the mechanical properties of the starch-based film about 25%, while the protein reduces the moisture sensitivity and gas permeability about 45%. Scanning electron microscopic observation indicated good compatibility between starch matrix and laver. The cellulose containing in laver kept its semi-crystalline structure after processing, which was used to explain the reinforcing mechanism. Some chemical bounds between starch and protein containing in laver was detected by FTIR. Since all the components used in this work are from food sources, the prepared films are safe for food packaging and application as edible films.