UCARE: Undergraduate Creative Activities & Research Experiences


Date of this Version

Spring 4-14-2020

Document Type



Poster presentation, UCARE Research Fair, Spring 2020, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Copyright 2020 by the authors.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


A composite edible film made of corn zein protein (Z) and cellulose derivatives (C) was successfully fabricated. Edible films are coatings used to wrap food products to protect them against microbial deterioration, loss of moisture, and to extend the shelf life of the product. These edible films are consumed together with the product . The mechanical properties, water vapor permeability, application on fruits, and shelf life of the composite film were studied. Zein demonstrated excellent packing characteristics; due to its high no polar contents and hydrophobic nature, zein film served as a moisture barrier. Hydroproxy methylcellulose (HPM) is tasteless, odorless and transparent, and resistant to lipid passage. The results showed that as zein increases in the composite, the methylcellulose decreases, as the flexibility of the film increases. Glycerol was added as a plasticizer to induce flexibility as films were brittle. The (8:2 z/c) film indicated potential barrier properties against the mold growth than the 10:2 Z/C and 6:6 Z/C films. The composite Z/C film shows a promise as a potential packaging material that can be used in food industry.