An overview on the role of wheat gluten as a viable substitute for biodegradable plastics

Neha Patni 1 , Pujita Yadava 1 , Anisha Agarwal 1 , and Vyoma Maroo 1
  • 1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Technology, Nirma University, S.G. Highway, Ahmedabad-382481, Gujarat, India
Neha Patni
  • Corresponding author
  • Email
  • Further information
  • Neha Patni (center left) obtained a MPhil (Energy) from Non Conventional Energy Centre and a MSc (Chemistry) from University of Rajasthan and is currently pursuing her PhD at Nirma University. She has been working as an Assistant Professor at the Chemical Engineering Department, Institute of Technology, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, since 2008. She is an author of two books published internationally. She also has to her credit many papers published in international journals or presented at conferences. Her areas of interest are biofuels, chemical sensors, nanoscience, and polymer chemistry. She is a life member of the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) and the Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE). Pujita Yadava (left), Vyoma Maroo (center right), and Anisha Agarwal (right) are pursuing their BTech in Chemical Engineering at the Institute of Technology, Nirma University, India.
  • Search for other articles:
  • degruyter.comGoogle Scholar
, Pujita Yadava, Anisha Agarwal and Vyoma Maroo

Abstract

Petroleum resources are limited and stringent environmental concerns are increasing; biodegradable materials made from renewable agricultural resources such as carbohydrates, starch and proteins are attracting much attention for sustainable development and environmental conservation. As per the annual production of wheat in India, it is the second largest producer in the world after China. In this paper, we explore the possibility of wheat protein known as gluten as a promising substitute for petroleum-based plastics and environment-friendly thermosetting composites. Plant proteins from wheat show an advantage for use as films and plastics because of their abundant resources, low cost, good biodegradability and suitable properties like rheological properties, water sensitivity, sound absorption and thermal behavior. The paper aims to explain the extraction of gluten and to review the blending of gluten with different plasticizers such as glycerol, water and some cross-linking agents to enhance the above-mentioned properties. An extensive review of the existing literature reveals that wheat gluten (WG)-based bioplastics are nontoxic and fully biodegradable, whatever the technological process is applied; thus, the paper also discusses the biodegradability of WG-based bioplastics. We conclude the paper by incorporating a critical summary of the various parameters and chemicals used to enhance the properties of gluten-based composites.

  • Angellier-Coussy H, Gastaldi E, Gontard N, Guillard V. Influence of processing temperature on the water vapour transport properties of wheat gluten based agromaterials. Ind Crops Prod 2011; 33: 457–461.

    • Crossref
  • Anker CA, Foster GA, Loader MA. Method of preparing gluten containing films and coatings. U.S. Patent No. 3,653,925, 1972.

  • Attenburrow G, Barnes DJ, Davies AP, Ingman SJ. Rheological properties of wheat gluten. J Cereal Sci 1990; 12: 1–14.

    • Crossref
  • Aydt TP, Weller CL, Testin RF. Mechanical and barrier properties of edible com and wheat protein films. Trans ASAE 1991; 34: 207–211.

    • Crossref
  • Cherian G, Gennadios A, Weller C, Chinachoti P. Thermomechanical behavior of wheat gluten films: effect of sucrose, glycerin, and sorbitol. Cereal Chem 1995; 72: 1–6.

  • Cuq B, Boutrot F, Redl A, Lullien PV. Study of the temperature effect on the formation of wheat gluten network: influence on mechanical properties and protein solubility. J Agric Food Chem 2000; 48: 2954–2959.

    • Crossref
  • Domenek S, Feuilloley P, Gratraud J, Morel MH, Guilbert S. Biodegradability of wheat gluten based bioplastics. Chemosphere 2004; 54: 551–559.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Dong J. Aqueous electrospinning of wheat gluten fibers with thiolated additives. Polymer 2010; 51: 3164–3172.

    • Crossref
  • Gennadios A, Weller CI, Testin RF. Property modification of edible wheat, gluten-based films. Trans ASAE 1993; 36: 465–470.

    • Crossref
  • Georgopoulos T, Larsson H, Eliasson AC. A comparison of the rheological properties of wheat flour dough and its gluten prepared by ultracentrifugation. Food Hydrocolloids 2004; 18: 143–151.

    • Crossref
  • Gioia L, Guilbert S. Corn protein-based thermoplastic resins: effect of some polar and amphiphilic plasticizers. J Agric Food Chem 1999; 47: 1254–1261.

    • Crossref
  • Gontard N, Guilbert S, Cuq JL. Water and glycerol as plasticizers affect mechanical and water vapor barrier properties of an edible wheat gluten film. J Food Sci 1993; 58: 206–211.

    • Crossref
  • Grevellec J, Marquie C, Ferry L, Crespy A, Vialettes V. Processability of cottonseed proteins into biodegradable materials. Biomacromolecules 2001; 2: 1104–1109.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Grosskreutz JC. A lipoprotein model of WG structure. Cereal Chem 1961; 38: 336–348.

  • Gutfreund K, Yamauchi T. Potentially useful products derived from gluten hydrolyzate. In: Fellers CM, editor. Proceedings of the 8th National Conference on Wheat Utilization Research. Albany, CA: USDA, 1974: 32–38.

  • Hemsri S, Asandei AD, Grieco K, Parnas SR. Biopolymer composites of wheat gluten with silica and alumina. Composites Part A 2011; 42: 1764–1773.

    • Crossref
  • Hernandez-Munoz P, Kanavouras A, Lagaron JM, Gavara R. Development and characterization of films based on chemically cross-linked gliadins. J Agric Food Chem 2005; 53: 8216–8223.

    • Crossref
  • Huang A, Netravali A. Biodegradable green composites made using bamboo micro/nano-fibrils and chemically modified soy protein resin. Compos Sci Technol 2009; 69: 1009–1015.

    • Crossref
  • Irissin MJ, Bauduin G, Boutevin B, Gontard N. New plasticizers for wheat gluten films. Eur Polym J 2001; 37: 1533–1541.

    • Crossref
  • Jerez A, Partal P, Martinez I, Gallegos C, Guerrero A. Rheology and processing of gluten based bioplastics. Biochem Eng J 2005; 26: 131–138.

    • Crossref
  • Jerez A, Partal P, Martinez I, Gallegos C, Guerrero A. Protein-based bioplastics: effect of thermo-mechanical processing. Rheol Acta 2007; 46(5): 711–720.

    • Crossref
  • John J, Tang J, Bhattacharya M. Processing of biodegradable blends of wheat gluten and modified polycaprolactone. Polymer 1998; 39: 2883–2895.

    • Crossref
  • Kalichevsky MT, Jaroszkiewicz EM, Blanshard JMV. Glass transition of gluten. 1: Gluten and gluten-sugar mixtures. Int J Biol Macromol 1992; 14: 257–266.

    • Crossref
  • Kayserilioğlu SB, Bakir U, Yilmaz L, Akkaş N. Use of xylan, an agricultural by-product, in wheat gluten based biodegradable films: mechanical, solubility and water vapor transfer rate properties. Bioresour Technol 2003; 87: 239–246.

    • Crossref
  • Kokini JL, Cocero AM, Madeka H, Degraaf E. The development of state diagrams for cereal proteins. Trends Food Sci Technol 1994; 5: 281–288.

    • Crossref
  • Krull LH, Inglett GE. Industrial uses of gluten. Cereal Sci Today 1971; 16: 232–236, 261.

  • Kunanopparat T, Menut P, Morel MH, Guilbert S. Reinforcement of plasticized wheat gluten with natural fibers: from mechanical improvement to deplasticizing effect. Composites Part A 2008; 39: 777–785.

    • Crossref
  • Lagrain B, Goderis B, Brijs K, Delcour JA. Molecular basis of processing wheat gluten toward biobased materials. Biomacromolecules 2010; 11: 533–541.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Leray D, Oliete B, Mezaize S, Chevallier S, Lamballerie M. Effects of freezing and frozen storage conditions on the rheological properties of different formulations of non-yeasted wheat and gluten-free bread dough. J Food Eng 2010; 100: 70–76.

    • Crossref
  • Lodha P, Netravali AN. Thermal and mechanical properties of environment-friendly ‘green’ plastics from stearic acid modified-soy protein isolate. Ind Crops Prod 2005; 21: 49–64.

    • Crossref
  • MacRitchie F. Studies of the methodology for fractionation and reconstitution of wheat flours. J Cereal Sci 1985; 3: 221–230.

    • Crossref
  • Mangavel C, Barbot J, Bervas E, Linossier L, Feys M, Gueguen J, Popineau Y. Influence of prolamin composition on the mechanical properties of cast wheat gluten films. J Cereal Sci 2002; 36: 157–166.

    • Crossref
  • Mangavel C, Rossignol N, Perronnet A, Barbot J, Popineau Y, Gueguen J. Properties and microstructure of thermo-pressed wheat gluten films: a comparison with cast films. Biomacromolecules 2004; 5: 1596–1601.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Matveev YI, Grinberg VY, Tolstoguzov VB. The plasticizing effect of water on proteins, polysaccharides and their mixtures. Glassy state of biopolymers, food and seeds. Food Hydrocolloids 2000; 14: 425–437.

    • Crossref
  • Micard V, Guilbert S. Thermal behavior of native and hydrophobized wheat gluten, gliadin and glutenin-rich fractions by modulated DSC. Int J Biol Macromol 2000; 27: 229–236.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Mohamed AA, Gordon SH, Carriere CJ, Kim S. Thermal characteristics of polylactic acid/wheat gluten blends. J Food Qual 2006; 29: 266–281.

    • Crossref
  • Okamoto S. Factors affecting protein film formation. Cereal Foods World 1978; 23: 256–262.

  • Pallos M, Robertson GH, Pavlath AE, Orts WJ. Thermoformed wheat gluten biopolymers. J Agric Food Chem 2006; 54: 349–352.

    • Crossref
  • Payne PI, Corfield KG. Subunits composition of wheat glutenin proteins isolated by gel filtration in a dissociating medium. Planta 1979; 14: 83–88.

  • Pommet M, Redl A, Guilbert S, Morel MH. Intrinsic influence of various plasticizers on functional properties and reactivity of wheat gluten thermoplastic materials. J Cereal Sci 2005; 42: 81–91.

    • Crossref
  • Pouplin M, Redl A, Gontard N. Glass transition of wheat gluten plasticized with water, glycerol, or sorbitol. J Agric Food Chem 1999; 47: 538–543.

    • Crossref
  • Reddy N, Yang Y. Biocomposites developed using water-plasticized wheat gluten as matrix and jute fibers as reinforcement. Polym Int 2011; 60(4): 711–716.

    • Crossref
  • Romero-Bastida CA, Flores-Huicochea E, Martin-Polo MO, Velazquez G, Torres JA. Compositional and moisture content effects on the biodegradability of zein/ethylcellulose films. J Agric Food Chem 2004; 52: 2230–2235.

    • Crossref
  • Sanchez AC, Popineau Y, Mangavel C, Larre C, Gueguen J. Effect of different plasticizers on the mechanical and surface properties of wheat gliadin films. J Agric Food Chem 1998; 46: 4539– 4544.

    • Crossref
  • Shewry PR, Tatham AS. Disulphide bonds in wheat gluten proteins. J Cereal Sci 1997; 25: 207–227.

    • Crossref
  • Shewry PR, Tatham AS, Forde J, Kreis M, Miflin BJ. The classification and nomenclature of wheat gluten proteins: a reassessment. J Cereal Sci 1986; 4: 97–106.

    • Crossref
  • Shewry PR, Halford NG, Belton PS, Tatham AS. The structure and properties of gluten: an elastic protein from wheat grain. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2002; 357: 133–142.

    • Crossref
  • Singh H, MacRitchie F. Application of polymer science to properties of gluten. J Cereal Sci 2001; 33: 231–243.

    • Crossref
  • Siracusa V, Rocculi P, Romani S, Dalla Rosa M. Biodegradable polymers for food packaging: a review. Trends Food Sci Technol 2008; 19: 634–643.

    • Crossref
  • Song YH, Zheng Q. Improved tensile strength of glycerol-plasticized gluten bioplastic containing hydrophobic liquids. Bioresour Technol 2008; 99: 7665–7671.

    • Crossref
  • Song YH, Zheng Q, Lai ZZ. Properties of thermo-molded gluten/glycerol/silica composites. Chin J Polym Sci 2008; 26: 631–638.

    • Crossref
  • Song YH, Yang Y, Zhang KZ, Zheng Q. Preparation and properties of wheat gluten/rice protein composites plasticized with glycerol. Chin J Polym Sci 2011; 29: 87–92.

    • Crossref
  • Sun S, Song Y, Zheng Q. Morphologies and properties of thermo-molded biodegradable plastics based on glycerol-plasticized wheat gluten. Food Hydrocolloids 2007; 21: 1005–1013.

    • Crossref
  • Sun Y, Song Y, Zheng Q. Thermo-molded wheat gluten plastics plasticized with glycerol: effect of molding temperature. Food Hydrocolloids 2008; 22: 1006–1013.

    • Crossref
  • Toufeili I, Lambert IA, Kokini JL. Effect of glass transition and cross-linking on rheological properties of gluten: development of a preliminary state diagram. Cereal Chem 2002; 79: 138–142.

    • Crossref
  • Tropini V, Lens JP, Mulder WJ, Silvestre F. Wheat gluten films cross-linked with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide and N-hydroxysuccinimide. Ind Crops Prod 2004; 20: 281–289.

    • Crossref
  • Ullsten HN, Mikael G, Johansson E, Graslund A, Hedenqvist M. Enlarged processing window of plasticized wheat gluten using salicylic acid. Biomacromolecules 2006; 7: 771–776.

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
  • Verbeek CJR, van den Berg LE. Recent developments in thermo-mechanical processing of proteinous bioplastics. Recent Pat Mater Sci 2009; 2: 171–189.

    • Crossref
  • Wall JS, Beckwith AC. Relationship between structure and rheological properties of gluten proteins. Cereal Sci Today 1969; 14: 16–21.

  • Weegels PL, Verhoek JA, Degroot AMG, Hamer RJ. Effects on gluten of heating at different moisture contents. 1. Changes in functional-properties. J Cereal Sci 1994; 19: 31–38.

    • Crossref
  • Wieser H. The use of redox agents. In: Cauvain SP, editor. Breadmaking: improving quality. Cambridge, UK: Woodhead Publishing Limited, 2003: 424–446.

  • Wieser H, Bushuk W, MacRitchie F. The polymer structure of glutenin. In: Wrigley C, Bekes F, Bushuk W, editors. Gliadin and glutenin: the unique balance of wheat quality. St. Paul, MN: AACC International, 2006: 213–240.

  • Yuan Q, Lu W, Pan Y. Structure and properties of biodegradable wheat gluten/attapulgite nanocomposite sheets. Polym Degrad Stabil 2010; 95: 1581–1587.

    • Crossref
  • Yue HB, Cui YD, Shuttleworth PS, Clark JH. Preparation and characterisation of bioplastics made from cottonseed protein. Green Chem 2012; 14: 2009–2016.

    • Crossref
  • Zarate-Ramirez LS, Martínez I, Romero A, Partal P, Guerrero A. Wheat gluten-based materials plasticised with glycerol and water by thermoplastic mixing and thermomoulding. J Sci Food Agric 2011; 91: 625–633.

    • Crossref
  • Zarate-Ramirez LS, Romero A, Martínez I, Bengoechea C, Partal P, Guerrero A. Effect of aldehydes on thermomechanical properties of gluten-based bioplastics. Food Bioprod Process 2013; 92: 20–29.

    • Crossref
  • Zou Y, Huda S, Yang Y. Lightweight composites from long wheat straw and polypropylene web. Bioresour Technol 2010; 101: 2026–2033.

    • Crossref
Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
$42.00
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.


or
Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

Search