Gelatin is a natural biological macromolecule derived from the collagen in the connective tissue of the skin, bone and other tissues. It has been widely used in medicine, food and industrial production and other fields for easy molding, excellent compatibility and biodegradability. However, physical and chemical disadvantages impede its further application, seriously. Therefore, modification of the gelatin films becomes more and more important. In this study, the gelatin/nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC) composite films were prepared by casting method with 4% glycerol as plasticizer. The effect of NCC on the properties of the composite films was investigated by the characterization of its morphology and mechanical, thermal, and optical properties and water adsorption. The results showed that mechanical, thermal stability and water absorption properties of the gelatin/NCC composite film were obviously improved. The composite films showed the highest tensile strength (13.56 ± 0.25 MPa) when the mass concentration of NCC was 0.6%. Adding NCC to gelatin benefited the thermal stability of composite films. The gelatin/NCC composite film of 0.4% NCC had the highest melting transition temperature (138.9 °C). The composite films exhibited the lower water absorption (271.1%) when mass concentration of NCC was 1.0%. Thus, these results indicated that NCC could affect the properties of gelatin-based composite films, and showed it has potential for application in food packing.
Gelatin film Nanocrystalline cellulose Composite film Modify Properties
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The authors are grateful for the support of the Natural Science Foundation of Qinghai Province, China, Grant No. 2015-ZJ-909.
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