Effect of γ-Irradiation on the Physicochemical Properties of Zein Films

  • Lee, Sehee (Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Myoungsuk (Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Song, Kyung-Bin (Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University)
  • Published : 2003.12.01


To elucidate the effect of gamma-irradiation on the physicochemical properties of zein films, the molecular and mechanical properties of the films were examined after irradiation at various irradiation doses. Gamma-irradiation of zein solutions caused the disruption of the ordered structure of the zein molecules, as well as degradation, cross-linking, and aggregation of the polypeptide chains based on an SDS-PAGE study. Gamma-irradiation increased the solubility of zein and decreased the viscosity due to cleavage of the polypeptide chains. Protein solubility of the zein films in urea/2-mercaptoethanol also increased with increasing irradiation doses. Alterations of the zein molecules by irradiation decreased water vapor per-meability by 12% and increased the elongation of zein films. However, mean tensile strength of the zein films was decreased by gamma-irradiation treatment. Measurement of Hunter color values indicated that irradiation caused a destructive effect on yellow pigments, resulting in a significant decrease in Hunter b values. The microstructure as observed by scanning electron microscopy showed that irradiated zein film had a smoother and glossier surface than the non-irradiated films.


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