About the book
The worldwide demand for the biobased and biodegradable polymers has steadily grown over the last 10 years at an annual rate of between 10 and 20 % per year. It has been estimated that, the worldwide production capacity of the biodegradable and biobased polymers for material applications will be around 500 kilotons by 2020.
Starch provides an essential food energy source for the global human and animal population, and is the primary component of most plant storage organs; tubers, cereal grains and legume seeds. It contributes greatly to the texture or viscosity of a wide range of home-prepared and manufactured foods, medicines, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paper and engineering products. Thus increased understanding of the history, synthesis and its behaviour in modern medicine and food processing is of importance to researchers, economists, manufacturers and consumers. Until recently, starch has been looked at as a mere excipient, primitive crop or as food for the poor, having poor nutritional value. But with increasing awareness of the significance of starch in several areas of man’s livelihood including health, policy makers have become more interested and are encouraging its research. Being cheap, renewable, biodegradable, and biocompatible, starch has equally attracted huge interests from drug delivery scientists.
While we were engrossed in the 20th century with the use of biotechnologies in medicine and pharmacy, new microbiological products and new materials for pharmaceutics, biomedicine and organ transplantation, in the 21st century we came up with nanotechnologies which fused with biotechnology, created nanobiotechnology and nanobiomedical technology, the products of which hardly resemble the parent biotechnology products. These new scientific disciplines are obviously changing the face of civilization in this century, leading to numerous new generation nanomaterial products including biocompatible biomaterials, antimicrobial biodevices, surgical tools, implants, decorative and optical devices, and finally nanocarriers and nanosystems and starch is a key component. Although several books have been written on starch, including “Chemical Properties of Starch”, this present book "Starch - Evolution and Recent Advances" will look at the history, as well as the most recent advances in science and technology of starch to end-user applications; these domains have not been covered before in a single book, and they include the major fields of history, bioeconomy, geography, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and material science.