Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 968–978 | Cite as

Development of Pea Protein Bioplastics by a Thermomoulding Process: Effect of the Mixing Stage

  • J. M. Carvajal-Piñero
  • M. Ramos
  • M. Jiménez-Rosado
  • V. Perez-PuyanaEmail author
  • A. Romero
Original Paper


Protein-based bioplastics are materials obtained with renewable natural components that present huge benefits as their technological capacity in a wide range of purposes. Besides, pea protein isolate and glycerol seem to be an excellent combination to create new bioplastics due to their fantastic processability and hydrophilic character. This is achieved by a thermomechanical process of two stages: mixing and injection moulding. The goal of this work is to study the preparation of pea protein-based bioplastics by the evaluation of the influence of the processing stages on the properties of the final bioplastics obtained. These bioplastics were studied evaluating different processing parameters (mixing speed and time) by assessing their influence on the protein-plasticizer blend with the analysis of the microstructure, as well as the rheological and mechanical behaviour. In addition, water uptake tests were also performed. The results showed that short and long mixing times and high mixing speeds (50 rpm) led to heterogeneity. While, intermediate mixing speeds (30 rpm) and short mixing times (1 and 10 min) were found to be suitable to obtain bioplastics with good mechanical properties.


Pea protein isolate Mixing Injection moulding Bioplastics Mechanical properties. 



This work is part of a research project sponsored “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” (MINECO/FEDER, EU) from Spanish Government (Ref. CTQ2015-71164-P). The authors gratefully acknowledge their financial support. The authors also acknowledge the Microscopy Service (CITIUS-Universidad de Sevilla) for providing full access and assistance to the ZEISS LSM7 DUO Confocal microscope. The authors also acknowledge University of Seville and “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad” for the pre-doctoral fellowships of Victor M. Pérez Puyana (VPPI-US) and M. Jiménez Rosado (Ref. FPU17/01718).


  1. 1.
    Andrady AL, Neal MA (2009) Applications and societal benefits of plastics. Philos Trans R Soc B 364:1977–1984. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Plastics Europe, the European Plastics Converters (EUPC), European Association of Plastics Recycling and Recovery (EPRO), European Plastics Recyclers (EuPr) (2008) The compelling facts about plastics: an analysis of plastics production, demand and recovery for 2006 in Europe.
  3. 3.
    Plastics Europe (2008) Annual report 2007. Safeguarding the Planet by reaching out.
  4. 4.
    Rosentrater KA, Otieno AW (2006) Considerations for Manufacturing Bio-Based Plastic Products. J Polym Environ 14:335–346. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tummala P, Liu W, Drzal LT et al (2006) Influence of plasticizers on thermal and mechanical properties and morphology of soy-based bioplastics. Ind Eng Chem Res 45:7491–7496. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Álvarez-Chávez CR, Edwards S et al (2012) Sustainability of bio-based plastics: general comparative analysis and recommendations for improvement. J Clean Prod 23:47–56. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wróblewska-krepsztul J, Rydzkowski T, Borowski G (2018) Recent progress in biodegradable polymers and nanocomposites based packaging materials for sustainable environment. Int J Polym Anal Charact 5341:383–395. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Peelman N, Ragaert P, De Meulenaer B et al (2013) Application of bioplastics for food packaging. Trends Food Sci Technol 32:128–141. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Siracusa V, Dalla M (2008) Biodegradable polymers for food packaging: a review. Trends Food Sci Technol 19:634–643. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ashter SA (2016) Commercial applications of bioplastics. In: Introduction to bioplastics engineering, chap 9. William Andrew - Applied Science Publishers, pp 227–249.
  11. 11.
    Avérous L (2004) Biodegradable multiphase systems based on plastisiced starch: a review. J Macromol Sci C 44:231–274. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Graaf LA De (2000) Denaturation of proteins from a non-food perspective. J Biotechnol 79:299–306. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Irissin-Mangata J, Gontard N, Bauduin G, Boutevin B (2001) New plasticizers for wheat gluten films. Eur Polym J 37:1533–1541. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hernandez-Izquiero VM, Krochta JM (2008) Thermoplastic processing of proteins for film formation—a review. Rev Concise Sci Food 73:30–39. Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cuq B, Gontard N, Guilbert S (1998) Proteins as agricultural polymers for packaging production. Cereal Chem 75:1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gomez-Martinez D, Barneto AG, Martinez I, Partal P (2011) Modelling of pyrolysis and combustion of gluten–glycerol-based bioplastics. Bioresour Technol 102:6246–6253. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Gomez-Martinez D, Barneto AG, Martinez I, Partal P (2005) Rheology and processing of gluten based bioplastics.pdf. Biochem Eng J 26:131–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nayak P, Sasmal A, Nanda PK et al (2008) Preparation and characterization of edible films based on soy protein isolate-fatty acid blends. Polym Plast Technol Eng 47:466–472. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zheng H, Tan Z, Zhan YR, Huang J (2002) Morphology and properties of soy protein plastics modified with chitin. J Appl Polym 90:3676–3682. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Thammahiwes S, Ad S, Kaewta R (2017) Effect of shrimp shell waste on the properties of wheat gluten. J Polym Environ 26:1775–1781. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Perotto G, Ceseracciu L, Simonutti R et al (2018) Bioplastics from vegetable waste via an eco-friendly water-based process. Green Chem 20:894–902. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pommet M, Redl A, Morel M-H, Domenek S (2003) Thermoplastic processing of protein-based bioplastics: chemicar engineering aspects of mixing, extrusion and hot molding. Macromol Symp 197:207–217. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sharma S, Luzinov I (2013) Whey based binary bioplastics. J Food Eng 119:404–410. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Matveev YI, Grinberg VY, Tolstoguzov VB (2000) The plasticizing effect of water on proteins, polysaccharides and their mixtures. Glassy state of biopolymers, food and seeds. Food Hydrocoll 14:425–437. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pouplin M, Redl A, Gontard N (1999) Glass transition of wheat gluten plasticized with water, glycerol, or sorbitol. J Agric Food Chem 47:538–543. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Grissel TS, Rojas de Gante C, García-Lara S, Verdolotti L (2015) Thermoplastic processing of blue maize and white sorghum flours to produce bioplastics. J Polym Environ 1:72–82. Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Feeney RE, Whitaker JR (1987) Importance of cross-linking reactions in proteins. Adv Cereal Sci Technol 9:21–47Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Mohammed ZH, Hill SE, Mitchell JR (2000) Covalent crosslinking in heated protein systems. Food Chem Toxicol 65:221–225. Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Gennadios A (2002) Protein based films and coatings. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Santana RF, Bonomo RCF, Gandolfi ORR et al (2018) Characterization of starch-based bioplastics from jackfruit seed plasticized with glycerol. J Food Sci Technol 55:278–286. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pearson AM (1983) Soy proteins. In: Hudson BJF (ed) Developments in food proteins. Applied Science Publishers, London and Englewood, NJ, pp 67–108Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cano AI, Cháfer M, Chiralt A, González-Martínez C (2015) Physical and microstructural properties of biodegradable films based on pea starch and PVA. J Food Eng 167:59–64. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lee R, Pranata M, Ustunol Z, Almenar E (2013) Influence of glycerol and water activity on the properties of compressed egg white-based bioplastics. J Food Eng 118:132–140. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gallegos C, Guerrero A (2007) Egg white-based bioplastics developed by thermomechanical processing. J Food Eng 82:608–617. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Félix M, Martín Alfonso J, Romero A, Guerrero A (2014) Development of albumen/soy biobased plastic materials processed by injection molding. J Food Eng 125:7–16. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Felix M, Perez-Puyana V, Romero A, Guerrero A (2017) Production and characterization of bioplastics obtained by injection moulding of various protein systems. J Polym Environ 25:91–100. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Perez V, Felix M, Romero A, Guerrero A (2015) Characterization of pea protein-based bioplastics processed by injection moulding. Food Bioprod Process 97:100–108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Perez-Puyana V, Felix M, Romero A, Guerrero A (2016) Effect of the injection moulding processing conditions on the development of pea protein-based bioplastics. J Appl Polym 133:1–9. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Nova K (2017) Determination of symbiotic nodule occupancy in the model Vicia tetrasperma using a fluorescence scanner. Ann Bot 107:709–715. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    ISO 527-2:2012. Plastics—determination of tensile properties-Part 2: Test conditions for moulding and extrusion plastics. pp 527–532Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    ASTM (2005) Standard test method for plastic. Annual book of ASTM standards. American Society for Testing and Materials, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Redl A, Helene mores M, Guilbert S, Vegnes B (1999) Rheological properties of gluten plasticized with glycerol: dependence on temperature, glycerol content and mixing conditions. Rheol Acta 320:311–320. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Perez V, Felix M, Romero A, Guerrero A (2015) Food and bioproducts processing characterization of pea protein-based bioplastics processed by injection moulding. Food Bioprod Process 97:100–108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Felix M, Romero A, Cordobes F, Guerrero A (2015) Development of crayfish bio-based plastic materials processed by small-scale injection moulding. J Sci Food Agric 95:679. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Zohuriaan-Mehr MJ, Omidian H, Doroudiani S, Kabiri K (2010) Advances in non-hygienic applications of superabsorbent hydrogel materials. J Mater Sci 45:5711–5735. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Gómez-Heincke D, Martínez I, Stading M et al (2017) Improvement of mechanical and water absorption properties of plant protein based bioplastics. Food Hydrocoll 73:21–29. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de QuímicaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Escuela Politécnica SuperiorUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain

Personalised recommendations