Guar Gum – Improving Barrier Properties of Biodegradable Packaging Films

With increasing pollution, there is a growing concern among people to identify ways to resolve these issues. Keeping a check on environmental degradation has become the importance of the utmost level. Plastics are one of the contributing factors in this. There is extensive use of plastic as carrying bags or product packaging. These plastics are either thrown in open or discharged directly into the water bodies. Either way, the plastic molecules get leached out in their surroundings and ascends the pollution. Therefore it is tickling everyone’s mind to stop the overuse of plastic and switch to a better option which could be Guar gum in this case. It makes a wonderful alternative to plastic packaging.


Guar Gum as an alternative to Plastic

Polyvinyls or polyethene fused with Guar Gum renders a suitable option to be used as biodegradable plastics also known as bioplastics. Since guar gum is a naturally occurring substance it can be easily subjected to microbial degradation and help will not contribute further to any pollution. There is research being conducted on switching completely to bioplastics film which can be incorporated into product packaging. If implemented successfully, it can play an instrumental role in alleviating environmental pollution. Biopolymer stays low in some challenges which are poorer mechanical, thermal and barrier properties. Nano-sized fillers of biopolymers can be assessed for this and guar gum appeared to be an option worth considering. Guar gum has a complex polysaccharide chain, its thermal stability at 80°C and wide availability make it a potential candidate. But it can’t be used in its amateur state to produce biofilms rather there are some modifications required.

improving barrier properties of biodegradable packaging films


Modifications in Guar Gum

Guar gum was hydrophobically modified after its condensation with an acid and a base. The film produced the aftermath of this chemical treatment showed that hydrophobic residues aligned on the outside of the core. It was a shiny film and could be used as a bio plasticizer. It was tested for thermal stability and found to be stable, maintaining its intactness even at 100°C. Further, it was tested for microbial action for a period of one month and no fungal or other activities occurred in this film. These experiments showed that this film was fit to be used as a packaging material.

Growing concern over pollution and eagerness to switch to a better alternative is thus creating a potential market for bioplastics in the coming future. Every nation and continent is focusing on making this earth an improved version of what it is today. So this market and thus the guar gum proves to be a suitable bio film to be used as packaging material to reduce the burden or reliability on plastics.

The Bottom Line

Agro Gums, a company with future vision and strategizing to enforce this vision in the present day is one of the pioneer companies to supply natural gum and its derivatives as an intermediate product for other dependent industries. The authentic product quality , assurance, and a great supply chain network mark the success story of the company. The company has been serving and delivering its vision for the last thirty years.

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