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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2015, Article ID 176826, 11 pages
Research Article

Prediction of Mold Spoilage for Soy/Polyethylene Composite Fibers

1Farbest Foods, Jasper, IN 47546, USA
2Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
3Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
4Department of Mathematics, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA

Received 1 September 2014; Accepted 19 December 2014

Academic Editor: Long Yu

Copyright © 2015 Chinmay Naphade et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mold spoilage was determined over 109 days on soy/PE fibers held under controlled temperatures (T) ranging from 10°C to 40°C and water activities from 0.11 to 0.98. Water activities were created in sealed containers using saturated salt solutions and placed in temperature-controlled incubators. Soy/PE fibers that were held at 0.823 or higher exhibited mold growth at all temperatures. As postulated, increased water activity (greater than 0.89) and temperature (higher than 25°C) accelerated mold growth on soy/PE fibers. A slower mold growth was observed on soy/PE fibers that were held at 0.87 and 10°C. A Weibull model was employed to fit the observed logarithmic values of , and an interaction term and was chosen as the final model as it gave the best fit to the raw mold growth data. These growth models predict the expected mold-free storage period of soy/PE fibers when exposed to various environmental temperatures and humidities.