Acquisition of Thermogravimetric Analyzer for Food and Biopolymer Materials Research
This proposal addresses the Research function and the project type is Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grant. It is specifically a Strengthening grant to acquire Equipment (a thermogravimetric analyzer) for food and biopolymer materials research. Measurement of thermal properties of foods, polymers, and other biomaterials is crucial for understanding their behavior under diverse environmental conditions. The existence of water and other plasticizers in such materials, even in miniscule amounts, can significantly affect their behavior during processing, handling, and storage. Investigation of thermophysical changes in those materials at the micro- and nano-scales is important for predicting their macro-scale behavior at various humidity and temperature conditions. Thermogravimetric analysis is needed to determine changes in mass
as a function of temperature and time. The objectives of this proposal is to acquire a modulated thermogravimetric analyzer (MTGA) to support the investigation of stability of nano-biocomposites at different environmental conditions (including measurement of degradability or decomposition temperature, TD) and measurement of physicochemical properties of foods to give insights on the kinetics of moisture loss. Together with other equipment for measurement of thermal and rheological properties, the MTGA will provide the needed capability for complete characterization of food and biopolymers for applications in diverse platforms. The proposal addresses the first two research priorities in FY2009 AFRI program on Improving Food Quality and Value. The scientific data generated will increase opportunity for the project director to compete for extramural grants, contribute to improvement in
collaborative research and instruction at the University of Idaho and Washington State University School of Food Science.