Effect of Gum arabic on distribution behavior of nanocellulose fillers in starch film

Nadanathangam Vigneshwaran, L. Ammayappan, Qingrong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Uniform distribution of nanofillers in polymer matrix is posing a major challenge in exploiting the full potential of nanomaterials. Various fillers are being evaluated to improve the performance of biopolymer films like starch. In this work, nanocellulose is used as fillers to increase the performance characteristics of starch film. Due to high surface energy and hydrophilic nature of nanocellulose, they tend to aggregate during the film forming process. To circumvent this problem, Gum arabic (GA) was added to distribute the nanocellulose uniformly. GA helps in reduction of surface energy (as analyzed by contact angle) and thus facilitates the uniform distribution of nanocellulose (as demonstrated through polarized light microscopy). Nanocellulose as filler improved the tensile strength of starch film by 2.5 times while that of uniformly distributed nanocellulose by 3.5 times. Moreover, while nanocellulose as such could reduce the water vapor permeability of starch film by 1.4 times, uniformly distributed nanocellulose reduced it by 2 times proving the importance of GA. Starch film filled with nanocellulose and GA will be a 100% biopolymer-based system having potential demand in eco-friendly applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-142
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Nanoscience (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Gum arabic
  • Nanocellulose
  • Nanocomposites
  • Polarized microscopy
  • Surface energy

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