Protein/Clay Nano-Biocomposites

Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


In the current context, protein-based materials might be considered as an alternative to the petroleum-based plastics since fully biodegradable and characterized by remarkable functional properties that can be exploited in a wide range of non-food applications. To improve their performances that are often restricted by high water sensitivity and low mechanical properties, a relevant strategy consisted in the development of protein/clay nanocomposite. For this purpose, several examples of protein-based nano-biocomposites were presented with a special attention for the methods used for the incorporation of layered silicates (organically modified or not) into the matrices and the ultimate functional properties exhibited by the resulting materials. In terms of mechanical properties, the addition of nanoclays leads to a significant improvement of material performance with an increase of Young’s modulus and tensile strength ranging between 1.5 and 2 times. As regards as barrier properties, the improvement appeared quite moderate in spite of a rather good dispersion of layered silicates that would be expected to result in a tortuous pathway limiting diffusion of gases molecules. Thus, a two-fold reduction in water vapour permeability was obtained, and the same or no effect in the case of permeability toward O2 and CO2.


Whey Protein Barrier Property Filler Content Layered Silicate Water Vapour Permeability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


Differential scanning calorimetry


Fourrier transformed infrared




Organically modified montmorillonite


Relative humidity


Scanning electron microscopy


Soy protein isolate


Transmission electron microscopy


Thermogravimetric analysis


Wheat gluten


Whey protein isolate


Water vapour permeability


X-ray diffraction


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hélène Angellier-Coussy
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Gastaldi
    • 1
  1. 1.UMR IATE, Université Montpellier II, CC023Montpellier CedexFrance

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