The increased interest in fish collagen is a consequence of the risk of exposure to Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD) and the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), whose occurrence is associated with prions carried by bovine collagen. Collagen is the main biopolymer in living organisms and the main component of the skin and bones. Until the discovery of the BSE, bovine collagen had been widely used. The BSE epidemic increased the interest in new sources of collagen such as fish skin collagen (FSC) and its properties. Although the thermal properties of collagen originating from mammals have been well described, less attention has been paid to the thermal properties of FSC. Denaturation temperature is a particularly important parameter, depending on the collagen origin and hydration level. In the reported experiment, the free water and bound water release processes along with thermal denaturation process were studied by means of the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Measurements were carried out using a DSC 7 instrument (Elmer-Perkin), in the temperature range 298-670K. The study material was FSC derived by acidic hydration method. The bovine Achilles tendon (BAT) collagen type I was used as the control material. The thermograms recorded revealed both, exothermic and endothermic peaks. For both materials, the peaks in the temperature range of 330-360K were assigned to the release of free water and bound water. The denaturation temperatures of FSC and BAT collagen were determined as 420K and 493K, respectively. Thermal decomposition process was observed at about 500K for FSC and at about 510K for BAT collagen. These results show that FSC is less resistant to high temperature than BAT collagen.
Keywords: BAT; Differential scanning calorimetry; Fish skin collagen; Thermal denaturation process.
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