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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Unraveling the Structural Puzzle of the Giant Glutenin Polymer-An Interplay between Protein Polymerization, Nanomorphology, and Functional Properties in Bioplastic Films

Rasheed, Faiza; Plivelic, Tomas S.; Kuktaite, Ramune; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Johansson, Eva


A combination of genotype, cultivation environment, and protein separation procedure was used to modify the nanoscale morphology, polymerization, and chemical structure of glutenin proteins from wheat. A low-polymerized glutenin starting material was the key to protein-protein interactions mainly via SS cross-links during film formation, resulting in extended beta-sheet structures and propensity toward the formation of nanoscale morphologies at molecular level. The properties of glutenin bioplastic films were enhanced by the selection of a genotype with a high number of cysteine residues in its chemical structure and cultivation environment with a short grain maturation period, both contributing positively to gluten strength. Thus, a combination of factors affected the structure of glutenins in bioplastic films by forming crystalline beta-sheets and propensity toward the ordered nanostructures, thereby resulting in functional properties with high strength, stiffness, and extensibility.

Published in

ACS Omega
2018, Volume: 3, number: 5, pages: 5584-5592