Water barrier properties of zein-oleic acid films

Ying Wang, Graciela W. Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Free-standing films were prepared from zein formulations containing 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80% oleic acid (OA). Zein/OA formulations were also used as coating films for rodent diet bars. Water vapor permeability (WVP) of films and moisture loss rate (MLR) of coated rodent diet bars were measured at 4 and 25°C. Temperature affected the water barrier properties of films and coatings. At 4°C, WVP of films decreased with OA concentration while it increased at 25°C. WVP behavior was attributed to oleic acid phase changes due to temperature. At 4°C, OA is a crystalline solid that limits water diffusion through the films. At 25°C, liquid OA increased the system free volume and allowed for water diffusion. The effect was more pronounced the higher the OA concentration in films. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) of zein/OA films showed endothermic peaks at 12-18°C, confirming the melting of OA in that temperature range. MLR of coated rodent diet bars was also affected by temperature and OA concentration in coating formulations. In this case, formulations containing 40, 50, and 60% OA were better moisture barriers than coatings with higher OA content at both 4 and 25°C. Moisture losses were reduced at 4°C due to OA solidification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-334
Number of pages4
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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