The influence of the thickness on the functional properties of cassava starch edible films
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The properties of edible films are influenced by several factors, including thickness. The purpose of this paper was to study the influence of thickness on the viscoelasticity properties, water vapor permeability, color and opacity of cassava starch edible films. These films were prepared by a casting technique, the film-forming solutions were 1, 2, 3 and 4% (w/v) of starch, heated to 70degreesC. Different thicknesses were obtained by putting 15 to 70 g of each solution on plexiglass plates. After drying at 30degreesC and ambient relative humidity, these samples were placed for 6 days at RH of 75%, at 22degreesC. The sample thicknesses were determined by a digital micrometer (+/-0.001 mm), as the average of nine different points. The viscoelasticity properties were determined by stress relaxation tests with a texture analyser TA.XT2i (SMS), being applied the Burgers model of four parameters. The water vapor permeability was determined with a gravimetric method, and color and opacity were determined using a Miniscan XE colorimeter, operated according to the Hunterlab method. All the tests were carried out in duplicate at 22degreesC. Practically, the four visco-elasticity properties calculated by the Burgers model had the same behavior, increasing with the thickness of all films, according to a power law model. The water vapor permeability and the color difference increased linearly with the thickness (0.013-0.144 mm) of all films prepared with solution of 1 to 4% of starch. on the other hand, the effect of the variation of the thickness over the opacity, was more important in the films with 1 and 2% of starch. It can be concluded that the control of the thickness in the elaboration of starch films by the casting technique is of extreme importance.