Current Trends in Biopolymer-Based Films and Coatings for Food Packaging

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Packaging and Preservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 32778

Special Issue Editors

Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA
Interests: bioactive compounds; antioxidant activity; functional foods; starch; modifications; biocomposite films; food packaging
School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Berkshire, UK
Interests: food reformulation; functional foods; meat and dairy analogues; food waste valorisation; consumer attitudes and rapid sensory profiling techniques
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Food, Nutrition and Health, College of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain 15551, United Arab Emirates
Interests: camel milk; chemistry and characterization of food proteins; lipid chemistry; bioactive peptides; functional foods; nutraceuticals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the growing concern for the environment and the rising price of crude oil, there is increasing demand for non-petroleum-based polymers from renewable resources. Biopolymer films have been regarded as potential replacements for synthetic films in food packaging applications in response to a strong marketing trend toward environmentally friendly materials. Biopolymer-based films and coatings display good barrier properties, flexibility, transparency, economic profitability, and compatibility with the environment. Therefore, they have successfully been used for packaging various food products. It has been estimated that the global production of bioplastics is set to hike from ~2.11 in 2020 to ~2.87 million tonnes in 2025. Considering the great market demand for biodegradable material-based packaging systems, it is high time for researchers to come up with a suitable solution considering the sustainability and economic feasibility of the process.

The aim of the present Special Issue is to present recent advancements in this field through research and review papers.

It is our pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript to this Special Issue. In particular, the topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Biopolymer (protein, polysaccharides and lipids) based eco-friendly food packaging materials;
  • Biopolymer-based edible/biodegradable films and coatings for food packaging;
  • Biopolymer-based active and intelligent packaging;
  • Incorporation of nanomaterials, crosslinkers and plasticisers to improve mechanical, physical, and thermal properties of biopolymers;
  • Modifications, functionalisation, and/or blending of biopolymers with other polymers to improve the functional properties of the packaging;
  • Incorporation and encapsulation of antimicrobial and bioactive compounds in food packaging to extend the shelf-life of food products;
  • Novel approaches to fabricate food packaging films and coatings.

Dr. Sneh Punia
Dr. Simona Grasso
Dr. Sajid Maqsood
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • biopolymers
  • starch and proteins
  • films and coatings
  • food packaging
  • shelf-life

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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15 pages, 1214 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Active Native and Cross-Linked Pearl Millet Starch-Based Film Loaded with Fenugreek Oil
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3097; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123097 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2784
Abstract
In this study, cross-linked pearl millet starch and fenugreek oil was used to develop active starch edible films to overcome the limitations of native starch and to substitute artificial preservatives with natural one. The starch was cross-linked at three levels (1%, 3% and [...] Read more.
In this study, cross-linked pearl millet starch and fenugreek oil was used to develop active starch edible films to overcome the limitations of native starch and to substitute artificial preservatives with natural one. The starch was cross-linked at three levels (1%, 3% and 5%) using sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP), and physicochemical properties were studied. Moreover, a comparative study was conducted among four samples of films prepared using native starch, cross-linked starch, and native and cross-linked starch loaded with fenugreek oil for physical, thermal, mechanical, morphological, and antibacterial properties. The solubility, swelling, and amylose content of native and modified starch varied from 11.25–12.75%, 12.91–15.10 g/g, and 8.97–16.55%, respectively. The values of these parameters were reduced as the concentration of STMP increased. Cross-linked starch films showed lower moisture, solubility, water vapor permeability(WVP), and elongation at break (EB) values while having higher thickness, opacity, thermal, and tensile strength values. The microscopic images of cross-linked starch films showed smooth surfaces and the absence of ridges, pores, and cracks. The films loaded with fenugreek oil showed different results; the moisture content, water solubility, and tensile strength were decreased while thickness, opacity, WVP, and EB were increased. The onset temperature and peak temperature were lower, while enthalpy of gelatinization was increased to a greater extent than films without oil. The addition of fenugreek oil to films showed a good inhibition area of 40.22% for native+oil films and 41.53% for cross-linked+oil films % against Escherichia coli. This study confirmed the successful utilization of fenugreek oil as a very effective antimicrobial agent in preparing edible films. Full article
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15 pages, 1277 KiB  
Article
Effect of Copper and Titanium-Exchanged Montmorillonite Nanostructures on the Packaging Performance of Chitosan/Poly-Vinyl-Alcohol-Based Active Packaging Nanocomposite Films
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3038; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123038 - 07 Dec 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3213
Abstract
In this study, CuMt and TiMt montmorillonites were produced via an ion-exchange process with Cu+ and Ti4+ ions. These nanostructured materials were characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements and added as nanoreinforcements and active agents [...] Read more.
In this study, CuMt and TiMt montmorillonites were produced via an ion-exchange process with Cu+ and Ti4+ ions. These nanostructured materials were characterized with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements and added as nanoreinforcements and active agents in chitosan (CS)/poly-vinyl-alcohol (PVOH)-based packaging films. The developed films were characterized by XRD and FTIR measurements. The antimicrobial, tensile, and oxygen/water-barrier measurements for the evaluation of the packaging performance were carried out to the obtained CS/PVOH/CuMt and CS/PVOH/TiMt films. The results of this study indicated that CS/PVOH/CuMt film is a stronger intercalated nanocomposite structure compared to the CS/PVOH/TiMt film. This fact reflected higher tensile strength and water/oxygen-barrier properties. The antibacterial activity of these films was tested against four food pathogenic bacteria: Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes. Results showed that in most cases, the antibacterial activity was generated by the CuMt and TiMt nanostructures. Thus, both CS/PVOH/CuMt and CS/PVOH/TiMt films are nanocomposite candidates with very good perspectives for future applications on food edible active packaging. Full article
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13 pages, 2608 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Fenugreek Protein-Based Edible Film
Foods 2021, 10(9), 1976; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10091976 - 24 Aug 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5009
Abstract
The present investigation studied the physicochemical, mechanical, structural, thermal, and morphological attributes of a novel edible film formed from fenugreek protein concentrate. Films were produced at different pH—9, 10, 11, and 12—and the effect of the pH on the films was studied. As [...] Read more.
The present investigation studied the physicochemical, mechanical, structural, thermal, and morphological attributes of a novel edible film formed from fenugreek protein concentrate. Films were produced at different pH—9, 10, 11, and 12—and the effect of the pH on the films was studied. As the pH increased, tensile strength increased while water vapor absorption decreased, which is interrelated to the surface morphological properties; as the pH increased, the surface became smoother and compact without any cavities. The films produced were darker in color. Fenugreek protein films exhibited good thermal stability. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed the presence of strong bonding for the films made at alkaline pH. X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) indicated the major structure of the film was amorphous. The study demonstrated that the fenugreek protein concentrate film has influential characteristics and can be used as an edible packaging film. Full article
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13 pages, 3156 KiB  
Article
Development and Characterization of Physical Modified Pearl Millet Starch-Based Films
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1609; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071609 - 12 Jul 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 4542
Abstract
Pearl millet is an underutilized and drought-resistant crop that is mainly used for animal feed and fodder. Starch (70%) is the main constituent of the pearl millet grain; this starch may be a good substitute for major sources of starch such as corn, [...] Read more.
Pearl millet is an underutilized and drought-resistant crop that is mainly used for animal feed and fodder. Starch (70%) is the main constituent of the pearl millet grain; this starch may be a good substitute for major sources of starch such as corn, rice, potatoes, etc. Starch was isolated from pearl millet grains and modified with different physical treatments (heat-moisture (HMT), microwave (MT), and sonication treatment (ST)). The amylose content and swelling capacity of the starches decreased after HMT and MT, while the reverse was observed for ST. Transition temperatures (onset (To), peak of gelatinization (Tp), and conclusion (Tc)) of the starches ranged from 62.92–76.16 °C, 67.95–81.05 °C, and 73.78–84.50 °C, respectively. After modification (HMT, MT, and ST), an increase in the transition temperatures was observed. Peak-viscosity of the native starch was observed to be 995 mPa.s., which was higher than the starch modified with HMT and MT. Rheological characteristics (storage modulus (G′) and loss modulus (G′′)) of the native and modified starches differed from 1039 to 1730 Pa and 83 to 94 Pa; the largest value was found for starch treated with ST and HMT. SEM showed cracks and holes on granule surfaces after HMT as well as MT starch granules. Films were prepared using both native and modified starches. The modification of the starches with different treatments had a significant impact on the moisture, transmittance, and solubility of films. The findings of this study will provide a better understanding of the functional properties of pearl millet starch for its possible utilization in film formation. Full article
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12 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Effect of Ferulic Acid-Grafted-Chitosan Coating on the Quality of Pork during Refrigerated Storage
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061374 - 14 Jun 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2942
Abstract
Pork is perishable due to oxidation and microbial spoilage. Edible coating based on biopolymers and phenolic compounds is an effective way to preserve the quality of pork. In this study, ferulic acid-grafted-CS (ferulic acid-g-CS) with strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities was synthesized through [...] Read more.
Pork is perishable due to oxidation and microbial spoilage. Edible coating based on biopolymers and phenolic compounds is an effective way to preserve the quality of pork. In this study, ferulic acid-grafted-CS (ferulic acid-g-CS) with strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities was synthesized through a carbodiimide-mediated coupling reaction. The obtained ferulic acid-g-CS was used as an edible coating material for fresh pork. The effect of ferulic acid-g-CS coating on the quality of pork during storage was investigated at 4 °C for 8 days. As compared to the uncoated pork, pork coated with CS and ferulic acid-g-CS showed lower total viable counts, total volatile basic nitrogen values, pH values, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, and drip losses. Besides, pork coated with CS and ferulic acid-g-CS presented more compact microstructures than the uncoated pork at the eighth day. Sensory evaluation assay showed pork coated with CS and ferulic acid-g-CS had better color, odor, and over acceptance in comparison with the uncoated pork. Ferulic acid-g-CS coating, due to its relatively higher antioxidant and antimicrobial activities compared to CS coating, had a better performance in refrigerated pork preservation. Ferulic acid-g-CS coating effectively extended the shelf life of refrigerated pork to 7 days. This study revealed ferulic acid-g-CS coating was a promising technology for refrigerated pork preservation. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 3019 KiB  
Review
Natural Antimicrobials as Additives for Edible Food Packaging Applications: A Review
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102282 - 26 Sep 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 5875
Abstract
Edible packaging is a swiftly emerging art of science in which edible biopolymers like lipids, polysaccharides, proteins, resins, etc., and other consumable constituents extracted from various non-conventional sources are used alone or imbibed together. Edible packaging with antimicrobial components had led to the [...] Read more.
Edible packaging is a swiftly emerging art of science in which edible biopolymers like lipids, polysaccharides, proteins, resins, etc., and other consumable constituents extracted from various non-conventional sources are used alone or imbibed together. Edible packaging with antimicrobial components had led to the development of the hypothesis of active packaging which safeguards the quality of foods as well as health of consumers. Natural antimicrobial agents (NAMAs) like essential oils from spices, bioactive compounds derived from vegetables and fruits, animal and microorganism derived compounds having antimicrobial properties can be potentially used in edible films as superior replcement for synthetic compounds, thus serving the purpose of quality and heath. Most of the natural antimicrobial agents enjoy GRAS status and are safer than their synthetic counterparts. This review focuses on updated literature on the sources, properties and potential applications of NAMAs in the food industry. This review also analyzes the biodegradability and biocompatibility and edibility properties of NAMAs enriched films and it can be concluded that NAMAs are better substitutes but affect the organoleptic as well as the mechanical properties of the films. Despite many advantages, the inclusion of NAMAs into the films needs to be investigated more to quantify the inhibitory concentration without affecting the properties of films and exerting potential antimicrobial action to ensure food safety. Full article
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24 pages, 403 KiB  
Review
Functionality and Applicability of Starch-Based Films: An Eco-Friendly Approach
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2181; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092181 - 14 Sep 2021
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 6439
Abstract
The accumulation of high amounts of petro-based plastics is a growing environmental devastation issue, leading to the urgent need to innovate eco-safe packaging materials at an equivalent cost to save the environment. Among different substitutes, starch-based types and their blends with biopolymers are [...] Read more.
The accumulation of high amounts of petro-based plastics is a growing environmental devastation issue, leading to the urgent need to innovate eco-safe packaging materials at an equivalent cost to save the environment. Among different substitutes, starch-based types and their blends with biopolymers are considered an innovative and smart material alternative for petrol-based polymers because of their abundance, low cost, biodegradability, high biocompatibility, and better-quality film-forming and improved mechanical characteristics. Furthermore, starch is a valuable, sustainable food packaging material. The rising and growing importance of designing starch-based films from various sources for sustainable food packaging purposes is ongoing research. Research on “starch food packaging” is still at the beginning, based on the few studies published in the last decade in Web of Science. Additionally, the functionality of starch-based biodegradable substances is technically a challenge. It can be improved by starch modification, blending starch with other biopolymers or additives, and using novel preparation techniques. Starch-based films have been applied to packaging various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, bakery goods, and meat, indicating good prospects for commercial utilization. The current review will give a critical snapshot of starch-based films’ properties and potential applicability in the sustainable smart (active and intelligent) new packaging concepts and discuss new challenges and opportunities for starch bio composites. Full article
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