Circular Bioeconomy: Novel Processes and Materials for Food Preservation

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 May 2023) | Viewed by 37690

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Guest Editor
Food Engineering Research Institute (FoodUPV), Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: bio-based and biodegradable polymers; green composites; polymerization of biopolymers; processing of bioplastics; nanofibers obtained by electrospinning; sustainable polymer technologies for food preservation; controlled release of active compounds in plastic formulations; biopolymers for food packaging; bioeconomy; circular economy
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Guest Editor
Institute of Food Engineering for Development, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: food preservation, active food packaging, multilayer materials, biodegradable/compostable polymers, antimicrobial compounds, release kinetics of active compounds, encapsulation techniques, biodegradation studies

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Guest Editor
Institute of Food Engineering for Development, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: food preservation, active food packaging, multilayer materials, biodegradable/compostable polymers, antimicrobial compounds from natural resources, obtaining active compounds from food wastes, release kinetics of active compounds, encapsulation techniques, biodegradation studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Circular Bioeconomy concept is becoming an integral part of industrial green technological processes, considering residues as a novel resource and developing a new sustainable closed model based on high-value applications of biomass. In the field of food technology, the scientific community is undertaking efforts for the utilization of food-processing byproducts as a highly sustainable resource for the production of food packaging materials and bioactive compounds. Multiple research groups are currently engaged in the complete valorization of food wastes into alternative feedstocks for monomers and intermediates to produce biopolymers and green composites as well as in the extraction and purification of antioxidants, natural preservatives, or antimicrobials to both enrich food quality and provide food safety. This Special Issue aims to compile the most recent advances in the processes and materials dealing with the valorization of food wastes and also the conversion of food residues into new nutrients and innovative solutions for food preservation.

Prof. Dr. Sergio Torres-Giner
Prof. Dr. Amparo Chiralt
Prof. Dr. Chelo Gonzalez-Martinez
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Circular Bioeconomy
  • biomass
  • biopolymers
  • green composites
  • bioactives
  • food preservation
  • waste valorization
  • food packaging

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 210 KiB  
Editorial
Circular Bioeconomy: Novel Processes and Materials for Food Preservation
by Sergio Torrres-Giner, Amparo Chiralt and Chelo González-Martínez
Foods 2023, 12(23), 4341; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12234341 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 750
Abstract
Food preservation is a set of procedures and resources aimed at blocking the action of external and internal agents that may alter the original characteristics of food [...] Full article

Research

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22 pages, 10180 KiB  
Article
Thymol@activated Carbon Nanohybrid for Low-Density Polyethylene-Based Active Packaging Films for Pork Fillets’ Shelf-Life Extension
by Aris E. Giannakas, Vassilios K. Karabagias, Dimitrios Moschovas, Areti Leontiou, Ioannis K. Karabagias, Stavros Georgopoulos, Andreas Karydis-Messinis, Konstantinos Zaharioudakis, Nikolaos Andritsos, George Kehayias, Apostolos Avgeropoulos, Charalampos Proestos and Constantinos E. Salmas
Foods 2023, 12(13), 2590; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12132590 - 03 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2116
Abstract
Τhe replacement of food packaging additives and preservatives with bio-based antioxidant/antibacterial compounds has been a common practice in recent years following the trend of bioeconomy and nanotechnology. Such bio-additives are often enclosed in nanocarriers for a controlled release process. Following this trend in [...] Read more.
Τhe replacement of food packaging additives and preservatives with bio-based antioxidant/antibacterial compounds has been a common practice in recent years following the trend of bioeconomy and nanotechnology. Such bio-additives are often enclosed in nanocarriers for a controlled release process. Following this trend in this work, a thymol (TO)-rich activated carbon (AC) nanohybrid was prepared and characterized physicochemically with various techniques. This TO@AC nanohybrid, along with the pure activated carbon, was extruded with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to develop novel active packaging films. The codenames used in this paper were LDPE/xTO@AC and LDPE/xAC for the nanohybrid and the pure activated carbon, respectively. X-ray diffractometry, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy measurements showed high dispersity of both the TO@AC nanohybrid and the pure AC in the LDPE matrix, resulting in enhanced mechanical properties. The active film with 15 wt.% of the TO@AC nanohybrid (LDPE/15TO@AC) exhibited a 230% higher water/vapor barrier and 1928% lower oxygen permeability than the pure LDPE film. For this active film, the highest antioxidant activity referred to the DPPH assay (44.4%), the lowest thymol release rate (k2 ≈ 1.5 s−1), and the highest antibacterial activity were recorded, resulting in a 2-day extension of fresh pork fillets’ shelf-life. Full article
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19 pages, 3650 KiB  
Article
One-Step Synthesis of Poly(L-Lactic Acid)-Based Soft Films with Gas Permselectivity for White Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus) Preservation
by Tao Sun, Junxia Bian, Yangyang Wang, Jian Hu, Xueyan Yun, Eerdunbayaer Chen and Tungalag Dong
Foods 2023, 12(3), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12030586 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
Proper packaging can extend the shelf life and maintain the quality of mushrooms during storage. The purpose of this study is to investigate the preservation of Agaricus bisporus using copolymer-modified poly (L-lactide-co-butylene fumarate) and poly (L-lactide-co-glycolic acid) (PLBF and PLGA) packaging. Shelf life [...] Read more.
Proper packaging can extend the shelf life and maintain the quality of mushrooms during storage. The purpose of this study is to investigate the preservation of Agaricus bisporus using copolymer-modified poly (L-lactide-co-butylene fumarate) and poly (L-lactide-co-glycolic acid) (PLBF and PLGA) packaging. Shelf life and quality were evaluated over 15 days of storage of Agaricus bisporus at 4 ± 1 °C and 90% relative humidity, including weight loss, browning index (BI), total phenolics (TP), ascorbic acid (AA), malondialdehyde content (MDA), electrolyte leakage rate (EC), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). The results showed that mushrooms packaged in PLBF films exhibited better retention in BI, TP, and AA than those with PLLA, PLGA, or polyethylene (PE) films. They can reduce the rate of weight loss, EC, and MDA, which in turn increases the activity of SOD and CAT. PLBF and PLGA have substantially improved flexibility in comparison with PLLA. They also significantly reduced oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) permeability and changed the gas permeability ratio. These positive effects resulted in the effective restriction of O2 and CO2 in these packages, extending the post-harvest storage period of white mushrooms. Full article
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17 pages, 2492 KiB  
Article
Lid Films of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate)/Microfibrillated Cellulose Composites for Fatty Food Preservation
by Eva Hernández-García, Amparo Chiralt, Maria Vargas and Sergio Torres-Giner
Foods 2023, 12(2), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12020375 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
The present work evaluates the food packaging performance of previously developed films of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) reinforced with atomized microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) compatibilized by a reactive melt-mixing process. To this end, the novel green composite films were originally applied herein as lids [...] Read more.
The present work evaluates the food packaging performance of previously developed films of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) reinforced with atomized microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) compatibilized by a reactive melt-mixing process. To this end, the novel green composite films were originally applied herein as lids in aluminum trays to preserve two dissimilar types of fatty foods, namely minced pork meat and sunflower oil. Results indicated that the PHBV/MFC films effectively preserved the physicochemical and microbiological quality of pork meat for one week of storage at 5 °C. In particular, the compatibilized green composite lid film yielded the lowest weight loss and highest oxidative stability, showing values of 0.935% and 0.78 malonaldehyde (MDA)/kg. Moreover, none of the packaged meat samples exceeded the acceptable Total Aerobial Count (TAC) level of 5 logs colony-forming units (CFU)/g due to the improved barrier properties of the lids. Furthermore, the green composite films successfully prevented sunflower oil oxidation in accelerated oxidative storage conditions for 21 days. Similarly, the compatibilized PHBV/MFC lid film led to the lowest peroxide value (PV) and conjugated diene and triene contents, with respective values of 19.5 meq O2/kg and 2.50 and 1.44 g/100 mL. Finally, the migration of the newly developed PHBV-based films was assessed using two food simulants, proving to be safe since their overall migration levels were in the 1–3 mg/dm2 range and, thus, below the maximum level established by legislation. Full article
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26 pages, 4104 KiB  
Article
Valorization of Liquor Waste Derived Spent Coffee Grains for the Development of Injection-Molded Polylactide Pieces of Interest as Disposable Food Packaging and Serving Materials
by Enrique Terroba-Delicado, Stefano Fiori, Jaume Gomez-Caturla, Nestor Montanes, Lourdes Sanchez-Nacher and Sergio Torres-Giner
Foods 2022, 11(8), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11081162 - 16 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2332
Abstract
The present work puts the Circular Bioeconomy’s concept into action, originally valorizing residues of spent coffee grains from the beverage liquor coffee industry to develop green composite pieces of polylactide (PLA). The as-received spent coffee grains were first milled to obtain the so-called [...] Read more.
The present work puts the Circular Bioeconomy’s concept into action, originally valorizing residues of spent coffee grains from the beverage liquor coffee industry to develop green composite pieces of polylactide (PLA). The as-received spent coffee grains were first milled to obtain the so-called spent coffee grounds (SCGs) that were, thereafter, incorporated at 20 wt.% into PLA by extrusion. Finally, the resultant green composite pellets were shaped into pieces by injection molding. Moreover, two oligomers of lactic acid (OLAs), namely OLA2 and OLA2mal, the latter being functionalized with maleic anhydride (MAH), were added with SCGs during the extrusion process at 10 wt.%. The results show that, opposite to most claims published in the literature of green composites of PLA, the incorporation of the liquor waste derived SCGs increased the ductility of the pieces by approximately 280% mainly due to their high lipid content. Moreover, the simultaneous addition of OLA2 and OLA2mal further contributed to improve the tensile strength of the green composite pieces by nearly 36% and 60%, respectively. The higher performance of OLA2mal was ascribed to the chemical interaction achieved between the biopolyester and the lignocellulosic fillers by the MAH groups. The resultant green composite pieces are very promising as disposable food-serving utensils and tableware. Full article
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20 pages, 3002 KiB  
Article
Quality and Shelf-Life Stability of Pork Meat Fillets Packaged in Multilayer Polylactide Films
by Eva Hernández-García, María Vargas and Sergio Torres-Giner
Foods 2022, 11(3), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030426 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3542
Abstract
In the present study, the effectiveness of a multilayer film of polylactide (PLA), fully bio-based and compostable, was ascertained to develop a novel sustainable packaging solution for the preservation of fresh pork meat. To this end, the multilayer PLA films were first characterized [...] Read more.
In the present study, the effectiveness of a multilayer film of polylactide (PLA), fully bio-based and compostable, was ascertained to develop a novel sustainable packaging solution for the preservation of fresh pork meat. To this end, the multilayer PLA films were first characterized in terms of their thermal characteristics, structure, mechanical performance, permeance to water and aroma vapors and oxygen, and optical properties and, for the first time, compared with two commercial high-barrier multilayer packaging films. Thereafter, the multilayers were thermosealed to package fillets of fresh pork meat and the physicochemical changes, lipid oxidation levels, and microbiological counts were monitored in the food samples during storage under refrigeration conditions. Results showed that the meat fillets packaged in PLA developed a redder color and showed certain indications of dehydration and oxidation, being more noticeably after 11 days of storage, due to the higher water vapor and oxygen permeance values of the biopolymer multilayer. However, the pH changes and bacterial growth in the cold-stored fresh pork meat samples were minimal and very similar in the three tested multilayer films, successfully accomplishing the requirements of the food quality and safety standards at the end of storage. Full article
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16 pages, 3876 KiB  
Article
Films Based on Thermoplastic Starch Blended with Pine Resin Derivatives for Food Packaging
by Cristina Pavon, Miguel Aldas, Juan López-Martínez, Joaquín Hernández-Fernández and Marina Patricia Arrieta
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061171 - 23 May 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 4066
Abstract
Completely biobased and biodegradable thermoplastic starch (TPS) based materials with a tunable performance were prepared for food packaging applications. Five blends were prepared by blending TPS with 10 wt%. of different pine resins derivatives: gum rosin (GR), disproportionated gum rosin (RD), maleic anhydride-modified [...] Read more.
Completely biobased and biodegradable thermoplastic starch (TPS) based materials with a tunable performance were prepared for food packaging applications. Five blends were prepared by blending TPS with 10 wt%. of different pine resins derivatives: gum rosin (GR), disproportionated gum rosin (RD), maleic anhydride-modified gum rosin (CM), pentaerythritol ester of gum rosin (LF), and glycerol ester of gum rosin (UG). The materials were characterized in terms of thermo-mechanical behavior, surface wettability, color performance, water absorption, X-ray diffraction pattern, and disintegration under composting conditions. It was determined that pine resin derivatives increase the hydrophobicity of TPS and also increase the elastic component of TPS which stiffen the TPS structure. The water uptake study revealed that GR and LF were able to decrease the water absorption of TPS, while the rest of the resins kept the water uptake ability. X-ray diffraction analyses revealed that GR, CM, and RD restrain the aging of TPS after 24 months of aging. Finally, all TPS-resin blends were disintegrated under composting conditions during the thermophilic incubation period (90 days). Because of the TPS-resin blend’s performance, the prepared materials are suitable for biodegradable rigid food packaging applications. Full article
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15 pages, 2724 KiB  
Article
Application of Ultrasound Pre-Treatment for Enhancing Extraction of Bioactive Compounds from Rice Straw
by Pedro A. V. Freitas, Chelo González-Martínez and Amparo Chiralt
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1657; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111657 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2950
Abstract
The extraction of water-soluble bioactive compounds using different green methods is an eco-friendly alternative for valorizing agricultural wastes such as rice straw (RS). In this study, aqueous extracts of RS (particles < 500 µm) were obtained using ultrasound (US), reflux heating (HT), stirring [...] Read more.
The extraction of water-soluble bioactive compounds using different green methods is an eco-friendly alternative for valorizing agricultural wastes such as rice straw (RS). In this study, aqueous extracts of RS (particles < 500 µm) were obtained using ultrasound (US), reflux heating (HT), stirring (ST) and a combination of US and ST (USST) or HT (USHT). The extraction kinetics was well fitted to a pseudo-second order model. As regards phenolic compound yield, the US method (342 mg gallic acid (GAE). 100 g−1 RS) was more effective than the ST treatment (256 mg GAE·100 g−1 RS), reaching an asymptotic value after 30 min of process. When combined with HT (USHT), the US pre-treatment led to the highest extraction of phenolic compounds from RS (486 mg GAE·100 g−1 RS) while the extract exhibited the greatest antioxidant activity. Furthermore, the USHT extract reduced the initial counts of Listeria innocua by 1.7 logarithmic cycles. Therefore, the thermal aqueous extraction of RS applying the 30 min US pre-treatment, represents a green and efficient approach to obtain bioactive extracts for food applications. Full article
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20 pages, 4385 KiB  
Article
Pectin-Based Films with Cocoa Bean Shell Waste Extract and ZnO/Zn-NPs with Enhanced Oxygen Barrier, Ultraviolet Screen and Photocatalytic Properties
by Ana Cristina Mellinas, Alfonso Jiménez and María Carmen Garrigós
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111572 - 29 Oct 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3847
Abstract
In this work, pectin-based active films with a cocoa bean shell extract, obtained after waste valorisation of residues coming from the chocolate production process, and zinc oxide/zinc nanoparticles (ZnO/Zn-NPs) at different concentrations, were obtained by casting. The effect of the active additive incorporation [...] Read more.
In this work, pectin-based active films with a cocoa bean shell extract, obtained after waste valorisation of residues coming from the chocolate production process, and zinc oxide/zinc nanoparticles (ZnO/Zn-NPs) at different concentrations, were obtained by casting. The effect of the active additive incorporation on the thermal, barrier, structural, morphological and optical properties was investigated. Moreover, the photocatalytic properties of the obtained films based on the decomposition of methylene blue (MB) in aqueous solution at room temperature were also studied. A significant increase in thermal and oxidative stability was obtained with the incorporation of 3 wt% of ZnO/Zn-NPs compared to the control film. The addition of 5 wt% cocoa bean shell extract to pectin significantly affected the oxygen barrier properties due to a plasticizing effect. In contrast, the addition of ZnO/Zn-NPs at 1 wt% to pectin caused a decrease in oxygen transmission rate per film thickness (OTR.e) values of approximately 50% compared to the control film, resulting in an enhanced protection against oxidation for food preservation. The optical properties were highly influenced by the incorporation of the natural extract but this effect was mitigated when nanoparticles were also incorporated into pectin-based films. The addition of the extract and nanoparticles resulted in a clear improvement (by 98%) in UV barrier properties, which could be important for packaged food sensitive to UV radiation. Finally, the photocatalytic activity of the developed films containing nanoparticles was demonstrated, showing photodegradation efficiency values of nearly 90% after 60 min at 3 wt% of ZnO/Zn-NPs loading. In conclusion, the obtained pectin-based bionanocomposites with cocoa bean shell waste extract and zinc oxide/zinc nanoparticles showed great potential to be used as active packaging for food preservation. Full article
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14 pages, 1673 KiB  
Article
Formulation of a Bio-Packaging Based on Pure Cellulose Coupled with Cellulose Acetate Treated with Active Coating: Evaluation of Shelf Life of Pasta Ready to Eat
by Valeria Bugatti, Gianluca Viscusi and Giuliana Gorrasi
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1414; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101414 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3327
Abstract
An active packaging based on pure cellulose coupled with cellulose acetate coated with layered double hydroxide (LDH), hosting 4-hydroxybenzoate (listed in EC-Directive 10/2011) as an antimicrobial agent, was formulated and realized. The release of 4-hydroxybenzoate ionically bonded to the LDH layers was much [...] Read more.
An active packaging based on pure cellulose coupled with cellulose acetate coated with layered double hydroxide (LDH), hosting 4-hydroxybenzoate (listed in EC-Directive 10/2011) as an antimicrobial agent, was formulated and realized. The release of 4-hydroxybenzoate ionically bonded to the LDH layers was much slower than the molecule freely dispersed into the coating. The capability of the active packaging to inhibit Pseudomonas, Escherichia coli, Salmonella and Lactic Bacteria was evaluated, as well as the global migration with three different food simulant (i.e., acetic acid at 3% (v/v), ethanol at 50% (v/v) and vegetable oil) that demonstrated, in compliance with the migration limits of the EU regulation, the suitability of the prepared packaging to be employed as food contact material. Ready to east cooked tomato pasta was packaged into the active trays and in uncoated, as control, up to 30 days at 4 °C. Organoleptic characteristics, mold evolution, total mesophilic aerobic counts (TBC), Enterobacteriaceae, Lactic Bacteria and Pseudomonas, and in colony forming unit per gram (CFU/g), showed a significant activity of 4-hydroxybenzoate in increasing the shelf life of the pasta ready to eat. Full article
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Review

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44 pages, 2586 KiB  
Review
Advancements in Biodegradable Active Films for Food Packaging: Effects of Nano/Microcapsule Incorporation
by Fatemeh Baghi, Adem Gharsallaoui, Emilie Dumas and Sami Ghnimi
Foods 2022, 11(5), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050760 - 06 Mar 2022
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 8902
Abstract
Food packaging plays a fundamental role in the modern food industry as a main process to preserve the quality of food products from manufacture to consumption. New food packaging technologies are being developed that are formulated with natural compounds by substituting synthetic/chemical antimicrobial [...] Read more.
Food packaging plays a fundamental role in the modern food industry as a main process to preserve the quality of food products from manufacture to consumption. New food packaging technologies are being developed that are formulated with natural compounds by substituting synthetic/chemical antimicrobial and antioxidant agents to fulfill consumers’ expectations for healthy food. The strategy of incorporating natural antimicrobial compounds into food packaging structures is a recent and promising technology to reach this goal. Concepts such as “biodegradable packaging”, “active packaging”, and “bioactive packaging” currently guide the research and development of food packaging. However, the use of natural compounds faces some challenges, including weak stability and sensitivity to processing and storage conditions. The nano/microencapsulation of these bioactive compounds enhances their stability and controls their release. In addition, biodegradable packaging materials are gaining great attention in the face of ever-growing environmental concerns about plastic pollution. They are a sustainable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective alternative to conventional plastic packaging materials. Ultimately, a combined formulation of nano/microencapsulated antimicrobial and antioxidant natural molecules, incorporated into a biodegradable food packaging system, offers many benefits by preventing food spoilage, extending the shelf life of food, reducing plastic and food waste, and preserving the freshness and quality of food. The main objective of this review is to illustrate the latest advances in the principal biodegradable materials used in the development of active antimicrobial and antioxidant packaging systems, as well as the most common nano/microencapsulated active natural agents incorporated into these food-packaging materials. Full article
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