Optical and Structural Properties of Zein-Xanthan Gum Biofilms
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Structural and optical characteristics of zein-based films produced with different xanthan gum concentrations have been studied in this work. Scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy (OM) were performed to identify if the incorporation of the material into the matrix film, formed a homogeneous structure, as well as to characterize its constituents as the colour and shape. SEM showed a homogeneous matrix for the control (0% xanthan) with good lipid distribution. However, when the samples were investigated by OM, lipids globules in the control biofilm appeared larger and more dispersed in the matrix than the others samples. Transparency/opacity test measurements by UV-VIS analysis indicated that the addition of xanthan to the film matrix lowered significantly its transparency properties Overall, the addition of xanthan gum favoured lipid dispersion in the matrix, making biomaterials more homogeneous, although with less transparency.