Rapid Ultrasound-Assisted Starch Extraction from Sago Pith Waste (SPW) for the Fabrication of Sustainable Bioplastic Film
The present study was conducted to optimize the extraction yield of starch from sago (Metroxylon sagu) pith waste (SPW) with the assistance of ultrasound ensued by the transformation of extracted starch into a higher value-added bioplastic film. Sago starch with extraction yield of 71.4% was successfully obtained using the ultrasound-assisted extraction, with the following conditions: particle size &lt;250 &micro;m, solid loading of 10 wt.%, ultrasonic amplitude 70% and duty cycle of 83% in 5 min. The rapid ultrasound approach was proven to be more effective than the conventional extraction with 60.9% extraction yield in 30 min. Ultrasound-extracted starch was found to exhibit higher starch purity than the control starch as indicated by the presence of lower protein and ash contents. The starch granules were found to have irregular and disrupted surfaces after ultrasonication. The disrupted starch granules reduced the particle size and increased the swelling power of starch which was beneficial in producing a film-forming solution. The ultrasound-extracted sago starch was subsequently used to prepare a bioplastic film via solution casting method. A brownish bioplastic film with tensile strength of 0.9 &plusmn; 0.1 MPa, Young&rsquo;s modulus of 22 &plusmn; 0.8 MPa, elongation at break of 13.6 &plusmn; 2.0% and water vapour permeability (WVP) of 1.11 &plusmn; 0.1 &times; 10&minus;8 g m&minus;1 s&minus;1 Pa&minus;1 was obtained, suggesting its feasibility as bioplastic material. These findings provide a means of utilization for SPW which is in line with the contemporary trend towards greener and sustainable products and processes.