Valorization of Starch to Biobased Materials: A Review
Many concerns are being expressed about the biodegradability, biocompatibility, and long-term viability of polymer-based substances. This prompted the quest for an alternative source of material that could be utilized for various purposes. Starch is widely used as a thickener, emulsifier, and binder in many food and non-food sectors, but research focuses on increasing its application beyond these areas. Due to its biodegradability, low cost, renewability, and abundance, starch is considered a &ldquo;green path&rdquo; raw material for generating porous substances such as aerogels, biofoams, and bioplastics, which have sparked an academic interest. Existing research has focused on strategies for developing biomaterials from organic polymers (e.g., cellulose), but there has been little research on its polysaccharide counterpart (starch). This review paper highlighted the structure of starch, the context of amylose and amylopectin, and the extraction and modification of starch with their processes and limitations. Moreover, this paper describes nanofillers, intelligent pH-sensitive films, biofoams, aerogels of various types, bioplastics, and their precursors, including drying and manufacturing. The perspectives reveal the great potential of starch-based biomaterials in food, pharmaceuticals, biomedicine, and non-food applications.