Method for the Separation of Proteins from Grain Flour




Edible films are widely used for a number of applications in the food industry, including to coat food surfaces, separate different components, casings, pouches, or wraps. They are used in the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries to deliver medications, appetite suppressants and vitamins. Additionally, experts in the packaging and aforementioned industries envision even greater use of these films in the future. Hence, product developers in these fields are seeking technologies that will provide processing advancements that enable use of a broader range of materials in a cost effective manner.

Description of Technology


This invention provides a method of separating protein from grain flour for the purpose of using the protein solution to make film that is edible and biodegradable. The protein extraction process involves treatment of the flour with a solvent, pH adjustment, centrifugation, precipitation of the starch, concentrating the protein solution, and combining it with a plasticizer to make a film forming solution that is processed further to make a film. The film is useful for food and pharmaceutical applications.


Key Benefits

  • Process provides film that is environmentally friendly and edible: This film is not petroleum-based and is biodegradable. 
  • Process provides low cost film that is uniform and smooth: The film is derived from low-cost grain flour. The film derived from this process is not granular like film produced by comparable processes. 
  • Efficient process: The process allows recovery of the residual starch solution as a by-product that can be used for other applications.




This method is useful for making biodegradable and edible film that can be used for food packaging and pharmaceutical applications.


Patent Status


US 5472511 (issued Dec 5, 1995)
US 5605577 (issued Feb 25, 1997)




Luis Rayas, Perry K. W. Ng


Tech ID




Patent Information:

For Information, Contact:

Thomas Herlache
Assistant Director
Michigan State University