Effect of water content in potato amylopectin starch on microwave foaming process
Journal article, 2007
In this study we investigated the role of the water content of extrudates had in foaming capacity and searched for the water content giving the greatest expansion of starch extrudates. Porous structures based on potato amylopectin starch were prepared by extrusion followed by a microwave foaming process. Starch was first extruded with water, in order to incorporate water in the granular structure and achieve gelatinization. Extrudates were conditioned at humidities ranging from 11% to 97%. The water content in the starch extrudates was studied by a water vapor sorption isotherm study. Extrudates were analyzed with light microscopy and wide angle X-ray scattering studies to determine degree of crystallinity. In the second step, extrudates were foamed in a microwave oven. As the water started to boil, it acted as a blowing agent, leaving a porous closed-cell starch structure. The densities and the expansion ratios of the foamed samples are determined. Porosity was studied with environmental scanning electron microscopy. Mechanical properties as a function of the surrounding humidity were analyzed with dynamic mechanical analysis. We found that the maximal degree of expansion was in extrudates conditioned at 33% and 54% RH and having water content of 11.2% and 13.4%, respectively. This level of water is sufficient to expand the extrudate to a maximum level but not high enough to plasticize the starch and cause cell collapse after treatment.