Water vapor barrier properties of zein films plasticized with oleic acid

Huey Min Lai, Graciela W. Padua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Water sorption, water vapor permeability, and tensile properties were evaluated for zein films plasticized with oleic acid. The effect of relative humidity on water vapor permeability and tensile properties of films was investigated. Samples were produced by two different methods: casting from a zein solution and stretching from a zein-fatty acid resin. Films were also coated with linseed oil. Results indicated that preparation method affected water sorption and permeability of zein films. Resin films showed lower water sorption than cast films, especially at high A(w) values. Water vapor permeability was also lower for resin films. Coating with linseed oil further improved water vapor barrier ability of resin films. Permeability was affected by environmental relative humidity; higher relative humidity resulted in increased permeability. Environmental relative humidity also affected tensile properties of resin films. Toughness and elongation were improved when relative humidity increased from 50 to 85% rh. Tensile strength showed a maximum at 75% rh. Coating improved elongation and toughness of films. Maximum elongation and toughness were observed for coated samples at 85% rh. Zein resin films showed good tensile and water barrier properties that were maintained through environmental humidity levels from 50 to 98% rh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-199
Number of pages6
JournalCereal Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Organic Chemistry


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