عنوان مقاله [English]
Demand for degradable and biocompatible polymers is rapidly increasing, especially in the food packaging sector where it is highly encouraged by environmental management policies. The development of biodegradable polymers is a promising solution which has been growing interest during the past decades by the industry. The objective of this study was to prepare a montmorillonite reinforced zein based microcomposite film and investigate its structural, mechanical, thermal and barrier properties. The film was produced through solvent casting method with different amounts of zein contents: 0, 1, 3, 5 and 10 weight percentage. Then, the structural, mechanical, thermal and barrier properties were measured. The data were analyzed based on completely randomized blocked design. The images obtained through Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) proved the microcomposite structure of the film. Based on the measurements, the mechanical properties of the films and their permeability to humidity didn’t show direct relation with the amount of montmorillonite content. The maximum value of Young’s modulus and strain were found for the samples with 3 and 10 percent of montmorillonite, respectively. The lowest permeability to humidity was found for the film containing 5 percent of reinforcement. It seemed that montmorillonite couldn’t change the thermal stability of the films. The results revealed that little amount of montmorillonite can improve the mechanical and barrier properties of the zein film. These improvements are attributed to the high modulus of montmorillonite and a complicated route formation in the protein network, respectively.