Biopolymers as Food Packaging Materials
This review examines the recent trends, current technology and future challenges in applications of biopolymers as food packaging materials, together with potential solutions, as well as discussing the major safety concerns regarding food packaging materials produced from sustainable and renewable resources. As food contact materials, biopolymers are increasingly being utilized as alternatives to conventional plastics obtained from oil derivatives. This review covers most of the available polymers, focusing on the general principles of their production, properties, and analysis of the possibilities for potential use in food packaging. The use of biopolymers brings new opportunities, not only from the point of replacing conventional polymers and other materials that are widely used in food packaging (glass, paper, metals, etc.), but also in the way it opens up a whole new level of properties and characteristics. Bio-based resources are the base source for production of biopolymers in food application, while in practice, bioresource content may be different. Biopolymers can be produced by microorganisms through fermentative processes of different bioresources [e.g., polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)] and biomass may be produced directly from different kind of plant (starch, cellulose, etc.). In the context of growing environmental and safety concerns, biopolymers have gained increased attention, related to concerns about conventional plastics traditionally produced from fossil fuel.
Biopolymers, Biomaterials, Food packaging, Sustainable resources