Effects of processing on the structure of zein/oleic acid films investigated by X-ray diffraction

Ying Wang, Francisco Lopes Filho, Phillip Geil, Graciela W. Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Zein films plasticized with oleic acid were formed by solution casting, by the stretching of moldable resins, and by blown film extrusion. The effects of the forming process on film structure were investigated by X-ray diffraction. Wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) patterns showed d-spacings at 4.5 and 10 Å, which were attributed to the zein α-helix backbone and inter-helix packing, respectively. The 4.5 Å d-spacing remained stable under processing while the 10 Å d-spacing varied with processing treatment. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) detected a long-range periodicity for the formed films but not for unprocessed zein, which suggests that the forming process-promoted film structure development is possibly aided by oleic acid. The SAXS d-spacing varied among the samples (130-238 Å) according to zein origin and film-forming method. X-ray scattering data suggest that the zein molecular structure resists processing but the zein supramolecular arrangements in the formed films are dependent on processing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1208
Number of pages9
JournalMacromolecular Bioscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2005


  • Biobased
  • Films, SAXS
  • Structure characterization
  • WAXS
  • Zein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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