Heating with microwave energy and tannin complexation of kafirin both increase the tensile strength of cast kafirin bioplastic films. The effects of these treatments on the molecular structure of kafirin and of kafirin in the film were investigated. SDS-PAGE of heated wet kafirin showed an increase in kafirin oligomers. Disulfide groups increased in heated kafirin and in films made from the heated kafirin. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of heated kafirin and films made from the heated kafirin indicated an increase in ß-sheet conformation. In contrast, kafirin complexation with tannic acid (TA) and sorghum condensed tannin (SCT) resulted in a slight decrease in ß-sheet conformation in the kafirin and a larger decrease in the kafirin in the films. Raman spectroscopy showed that, with TA, there was a shift in peak from 1710 to 1728 cm-1 for kafirin-tannic acid complexes, indicating kafirin and tannic acid interaction. The protein conformational changes presumably facilitated cross-linking between kafirin molecules and/or between kafirin and the tannins. Thus, although both heating with microwave energy and tannin complexation cause cross-linking of kafirin to increase film tensile strength, their effects on kafirin structure appear to be different.