Measurement of the biodegradation of starch-based materials by enzymatic methods and composting

Minna Vikman, Merja Itävaara, Kaisa Poutanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of in vitro enzymatic methods for assaying the biodegradability of new starch-based biopolymers. The materials studied included commercial starch-based materials and thermoplastic starch films prepared by extrusion from glycerol and native potato starch, native barley starch, or crosslinked amylomaize starch. Enzymatic hydrolysis was performed using excessBacillus licheniformis α-amylase andAspergillus niger glucoamylase at 37°C and 80°C. The degree of degradation was determined by measuring the dissolved carbohydrates and the weight loss of the samples. Biodegradation was also determined by incubating the samples in a compost environment and measuring the weight loss after composting. The results indicated that the enzymatic method is a rapid means of obtaining preliminary information about the biodegradability of starch-based materials. Other methods are needed to investigate more accurately the extent of biodegradability, especially in the case of complex materials in which starch is blended with other polymers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
JournalJournal of Environmental Polymer Degradation
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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Keywords

  • biodegradation

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