Preparation and characterization of whey protein isolate films reinforced with porous silica coated titania nanoparticles
Kadam, Dattatreya M.
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Whey protein isolate (WPI) films embedded with TiO2@@SiO2 (porous silica (SiO2) coated titania (TiO2)) nanoparticles for improved mechanical properties were prepared by solution casting. A WPI solution of 1.5 wt% TiO2@@SiO2 nanoparticles was subjected to sonication at amplitudes of 0, 16, 80 and 160 μm prior to casting in order to improve the film forming properties of protein and to obtain a uniform distribution of nanoparticles in the WPI films. The physical and mechanical properties of the films were determined by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and tensile testing. Water vapor permeability (WVP) measurements revealed that the water vapor transmission rates are slightly influenced by sonication conditions and nanoparticle loading. The DMA results showed that, at high sonication levels, addition of nanoparticles prevented protein agglomeration. The thermal stability of the materials revealed the presence of 3–4 degradation stages in oxidizing the protein films. The addition of nanoparticles strengthens the WPI film, as evidenced by tensile stress analysis. Sonication improved nanoparticle distribution in film matrix; such films can potentially become effective packaging materials to enhance food quality and safety.