In recent years, the increasing interest in nanomaterials of natural origin has led to several studies in the area of nano-sized particles from natural polysaccharide polymers, such as cellulose, starch, and chitin. These nanomaterials are used especially as a reinforcement in a polymeric matrix to improve the mechanical and barrier properties of the materials. Starch is a sustainable, abundant biopolymer produced by many plants as a source of storage energy; the main uses of starch are as food and industrial applications. However, recently their use as filler in polymeric matrix (nanoparticles) has attracted attention. Starch nanoparticles (SNPs) can be produced by many methods, using chemical, enzymatic, and physical treatments. The size distribution, crystalline structure, and physical properties of the SNPs may vary from one method to another. These nanoparticles are a very interesting alternatives not only for the polymeric filler but also for the renewability and biodegradability, since they show characteristics inherently of starch granules.
Part of the book: Applications of Modified Starches