Biodegradation of starch-based materials

Minna Vikman, Merja Itävaara, Kaisa Poutanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to compare three different test methods for assaying the biodegradability of starch-based materials. The materials tested included some commercial starch-based materials and thermoplastic starch film prepared by extrusion from native potato starch and glycerol. Enzymatic hydrolysis was performed using excess Bacillus licheniformis α-amylase and Aspergillus niger glucoamylase at 37°C. The degree of degradation was assayed by measuring the dissolved carbohydrates and the weight loss of the samples. The head-space test was based on carbon dioxide evolution using sewage sludge as an inoculum. The composting experiments were carried out in an insulated commercial composter bin. The degradation was evaluated visually at weekly intervals, and the weight loss of the samples was measured after composting. Good correlation was found among the three different test methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-866
JournalJournal of Macromolecular Science: Pure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • biodegradation

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