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Packaging and Polymers: The New Generation

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020) | Viewed by 6757

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: packaging materials; bio-based and biodegradable polymers; bio-based and biodegradable polyesters; green composites; polymerization of biopolymers; processing of bioplastics; sustainable polymer for food preservation; biopolymers for food packaging; edible films; compostable packaging; monomers from renewable resources; polymers from renewable resources; gas barrier properties; life cycle assessment (LCA) study; bioeconomy; circular economy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last decade, the need for new food packaging technologies has become more and more consistent. Consumer demands and industrial production trends dictate research into mildly preserved, fresh, tasty, convenient, high-quality food products with a longer shelf life. Further, market globalization has resulted in a longer food distribution and consumers’ hectic lifestyle has resulted in less time spent shopping and cooking fresh food, both of which are acting as driving forces in the development of new and better packaging concepts in order to extend food shelf-life while maintaining and constantly monitoring food safety and quality. In the last decade, the most innovative developments in the area of food packaging are bio-based and biodegradable packaging, as well as active and intelligent packaging. The purpose is to respect environmental concerns as well as the need for freshness, quality, and safety of food.

Due to the interaction between packaging and the environment when it comes to food, the safety of those new technologies must be compared to that of traditional ones. Innovation in packaging is now limited to a small number of materials, such as barrier materials. However, food packaging does not just have a passive role for food product protection. New concepts of packaging can offer numerous and innovative solutions for extending food shelf-life while maintaining, improving, and/or continuously monitoring food quality and safety.

The aim of this Special Issue is to give an overview of ongoing scientific and industrial research, of recent technological breakthroughs, and of emerging food packaging technologies developed in order to try to solve the emerging need for new and efficient processes, for controlling and solving safety and quality food concerns through the supply chain and to reduce product (food and material) loss. The new generation of packaging material is now called to solve several functions, such as protecting, sensing, detecting, recording, and controlling any change in the product, in the package, and/or its environment.

Research as well as review articles are welcome.

Prof. Valentina Siracusa
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Biodegradable polymers 
  • Bio-based polymers 
  • Polymers from renewable resources 
  • Food waste resources 
  • Natural nanocomposites 
  • Edible film 
  • Edible coating 
  • Bio-based polyesters 
  • New polymer technologies
  • Structure–property polymers relationship 
  • Active packaging 
  • Intelligent packaging

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

10 pages, 3349 KiB  
Article
Super-Toughed PLA Blown Film with Enhanced Gas Barrier Property Available for Packaging and Agricultural Applications
by Yuanping Jiang, Cong Yan, Kai Wang, Dawei Shi, Zhengying Liu and Mingbo Yang
Materials 2019, 12(10), 1663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12101663 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3507
Abstract
Polylactic acid (PLA) holds enormous potential as an alternative to the ubiquitous petroleum-based plastics to be used in packaging film and agricultural film. However, the poor viscoelastic behavior and its extremely low melt strength means it fails to meet the requirements in film [...] Read more.
Polylactic acid (PLA) holds enormous potential as an alternative to the ubiquitous petroleum-based plastics to be used in packaging film and agricultural film. However, the poor viscoelastic behavior and its extremely low melt strength means it fails to meet the requirements in film blowing processing, which is the most efficient film processing method with the lowest costs. Also, the PLA’s brittleness and insufficient gas barrier properties also seriously limit PLA’s potential application as a common film material. Herein, special stereocomplex (SC) networks were introduced to improve the melt strength and film blowing stability of PLA; polyethylene glycol (PEG) was introduced to improve PLA’s toughness and gas barrier properties. Compared with neat poly(l-lactide) acid (PLLA), modified PLA is stable in the film blowing process and its film elongation at break increases more than 18 times and reaches over 250%, and its O2 permeability coefficient decreased by 61%. The resulting film material also has good light transmittance, which has great potential for green packaging applications, such as disposable packaging and agricultural films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Packaging and Polymers: The New Generation)
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18 pages, 7766 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Transparencies and Mechanical Properties of Poly(cyclohexylene dimethylene cyclohexanedicarboxylate) Parts Using a Compounding Nucleating Agent to Control Crystallization
by Bei Su and Ying-Guo Zhou
Materials 2019, 12(4), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12040563 - 14 Feb 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2765
Abstract
Poly(cyclohexylene dimethylene cyclohexanedicarboxylate) (PCCE) is a kind of copolyester polymer with excellent toughness and outstanding flexibility. However, the opacity caused by crystallization limits the widespread application of PCCE in products that have transparency requirements. The effects of 1,3:2,4-Di-p-methylbenzylidene sorbitol (MDBS) on the crystallization [...] Read more.
Poly(cyclohexylene dimethylene cyclohexanedicarboxylate) (PCCE) is a kind of copolyester polymer with excellent toughness and outstanding flexibility. However, the opacity caused by crystallization limits the widespread application of PCCE in products that have transparency requirements. The effects of 1,3:2,4-Di-p-methylbenzylidene sorbitol (MDBS) on the crystallization behavior, transparency, and mechanical properties of a PCCE melt were investigated via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), spectrophotometry, and tensile testing. The results suggest that the transparency and mechanical properties of PCCE drastically improve and that its crystallization behaviors are obviously influenced by the addition of MDBS. PCCE with 0.6 wt% MDBS was then selected as a representative sample, and its thermal behavior and crystal morphology were further investigated by DSC, hot-staged polarizing microscopy (HSPLM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The quantitative results suggest that, compared to neat PCCE resin, PCCE/MDBS has a lower isothermal and nonisothermal crystallization activation energy, which indicates a rapid crystallization process. The results also show that, compared to the pure PCCE melt, the PCCE/MDBS melt experiences a greater increase in the number of crystals and a greater decrease in the crystal size during cooling. The acceleration of the crystallization process and reduction in crystal size can be both attributed to the nucleation effect of the MDBS. In conclusion, because the addition of the nucleating agent improves the transparency and tensile properties of PCCE by adjusting and controlling its thermal and crystallization behaviors, the proposed technique of using a compounding nucleating agent to control crystallization is therefore suitable for PCCE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Packaging and Polymers: The New Generation)
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