Material properties of films from enzymatically tailored arabinoxylans
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2008

Rye arabinoxylan with an initial arabinose to xylose (Ara/Xyl) ratio of 0.50 was enzymatically modified with α-L-arabinofuranosidase. Different enzyme dosages were used to prepare arabinoxylan samples with a gradient of arabinose content varying from Ara/Xyl ratio 0.50 to 0.20. The degree of polymerization of the arabinoxylans was not affected by the enzymatic treatment, as detected with SEC-MALLS. Arabinoxylan samples with an Ara/Xyl ratio of 0.30 and below agglomerated in a water solution as seen by changes in light scattering. All samples, however, formed cohesive films upon drying, without addition of external plasticisers. The film from untreated arabinoxylan was completely amorphous; whereas films of the enzyme treated arabinoxylans were semi-crystalline with an increasing degree of crystallinity with decreasing arabinose content as determined by WAXS. Oxygen permeability measurements of the films showed that decreased arabinose content also resulted in lower oxygen permeability of the films. All films were strong and relatively stiff, but showed variations in strain at break. The moderately debranched film with an Ara/Xyl ratio of 0.37 had highest strain at break among all the films tested, yet was stiff and strong. This material also exhibited yielding, and had stress/strain behavior similar to synthetic semi-crystalline polymers, with a tendency to strain induced crystallization. Such combination of mechanical properties combined with oxygen barrier properties is very attractive for packaging applications.

arabinose substitution


mechanical and barrier properties


enzyme treatment



Anders Höije

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Polymerteknologi

Erik P W Sternemalm

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Polymerteknologi

Susanna Heikkinen

Maija Tenkanen

Paul Gatenholm

Chalmers, Kemi- och bioteknik, Polymerteknologi


1525-7797 (ISSN) 1526-4602 (eISSN)

9 2042-2047


Annan kemiteknik

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