Films and Edible Coatings in the Development of Biodegradable Packaging: Sustainable and Eco‑friendly Alternatives
Packaging is fundamental to food industry because its main purpose is to protect food from external contamination. However, since most traditional packaging material are not made from renewable and biodegradable sources, they cause major environmental problems. Packaging made from synthetic polymers is inexpensive due to several facts, such as easily available raw material and their low cost, but its useful life is short, a fact that leads to inadequate accumulation and discard which impact on the environment. Development of biodegradable packaging made from renewable sources is an excellent alternative, mainly regarding discard. This study aimed at compiling the main biotechnological studies of different types of films and edible coatings that have already been published. Innovative material may replace packaging made from synthetic plastic. Therefore, alternative means must be made available so that industries can invest in them. Findings in the literature led to the discussion of the development of some types of films made from biopolymers, additives and natural bioactive compounds. Researchers bet on films and edible coatings not only because their physico-chemical characteristics are effective to protect food but also because their development is easy. Finally, another strength is that the raw material needed to develop them, such as starch, is highly available.
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