Thermoplastic Starch + Organoclay = Biodegradable Food Packaging Material

DOST-ITDI researchers Dr. Blessie A. Basilia and team developed a biodegradable food packaging. The film do its regular function as food packaging but is kind on environment.

It was developed using a process known as nanotechnology – structured matters at molecular and atomic levels. The locally developed material is made of starch and clay. Clay is converted to nanoclay or the organoclay. Cornstarch is processed to thermoplastic starch. The first and the latter are joined together. The end product passed the migration test which is a guarantee for fitness as food container.

I was a bit intrigued so I did more readings.

Organoclay is mainly use as adsorption material (waste water treatment). Maybe used in polymer as nucleating agent and as paint component. It can reinforce plastic… making them fire and chemical resistant.

Thermoplastic Starch (TPS) properties can be improved significantly by blending with other polymers, fillers, fibers and perhaps – the organoclay.

Starch based materials are biodegradable. Soil burial test of thermoplastic starch (TPS)  and TPS with other polymers showed signs of degradation. Pure TPS degraded in 6 days. TPS with cotton fibers degraded in 18 days. Onset of degradation is primarily due to moisture aborption. (study by J. Prachayawarakorn , P. Sangnitidej, P. Boonpasith)



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