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Biomass based and extended plastic foams.


Three types of biomass based and extended plastic foams including loose-fill packaging peanuts, flexible, and rigid foams were developed. The packaging peanuts, a potential candidate to replace the petrochemical-based packaging foams, were prepared from 100% corn starch containing 70% amylose using a twin screw extruder. Three essential foam properties: strength, energy, and spring indices were analyzed by the Instron Machine under different levels of water activities ($ rm a sb{w}$ = 0.11 -0.75). It was found that both strength and energy indices of the extruded foams increase with increasing $ rm a sb{w}$ levels up to 0.53 and then decrease. The spring indices of foams are nil at 0.11 and 0.23 $ rm a sb{w}s$, but behave in a similar manner at higher water activities as energy or strength indices.