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Mechanical, optical, and water vapor barrier properties of canola protein isolate-based edible films



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Biodegradable edible films are both economically and environmentally important to the food industry as packaging and coating materials, as the industry seeks to find a replacement to traditional petroleum-derived synthetic polymers. The overall goal of this thesis was to design a canola protein isolate (CPI)-based biodegradable and edible film that provides excellent mechanical, optical and water vapor barrier properties. A better understanding of the potential of CPI for use as a film-forming ingredient could lead to enhanced utilization and value of the protein for food and non-food applications. In study one, the mechanical, optical and water vapor barrier properties of CPI-based films were investigated as a function of protein (5.0% and 7.5% w/w) and glycerol (30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, and 50% w/w of CPI) concentrations. Overall, as the glycerol concentration increased for the 5.0% and 7.5% CPI-based films, mechanical strength and flexibility decreased and increased, respectively. Film strength was also found to increase at the higher protein concentration; however corresponding changes to film flexibility differed depending on the testing method used. For instance, puncture deformation testing indicated that film flexibility was reduced as the CPI concentration was raised, whereas tensile elongation testing indicated no change in extensibility between the two CPI concentrations. Film transparency was found to increase with increasing levels of glycerol and decreasing levels of CPI, whereas water vapor permeability was found to increase with increasing levels of both glycerol and protein. In study two, mechanical, optical and vapor barrier properties of CPI-based films were evaluated as a function of plasticizer-type (50% (w/w of CPI), glycerol, sorbitol, polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG-400)) and fixative condition (0% and 1% (w/w of CPI), genipin). CPI films prepared with sorbitol were significantly stronger than films with PEG-400, followed by films with glycerol, whereas the flexibility of CPI-based films with glycerol was higher than films with PEG-400, followed by films with sorbitol. In all cases, films prepared with genipin were stronger and less malleable than un-cross linked films. CPI films with glycerol were more transparent than films with sorbitol, followed by films with PEG-400, and the addition of genipin significantly increased the opacity of CPI films. CPI films prepared with glycerol also showed poorer water vapor barrier property than films with PEG-400, followed by films with sorbitol, however, no differences were observed in the presence and absence of genipin. In summary, as the plasticizer concentration increased or protein concentration decreased, CPI films became weaker, more flexible and clearer; however their water vapor barrier properties became poorer as both plasticizer and protein concentration increased. Moreover, CPI films with sorbitol and genipin were found to be stronger, less malleable and permeable to moisture than CPI films with or without genipin, and in the presence of glycerol or PEG-400. Overall, CPI could be considered as a potential material for the development of biodegradable edible packaging in the future.



Canola protein isolate (CPI)-based films, mechanical properties, optical property, water vapor permeability



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Food and Bioproduct Sciences


Food Science


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