Food Packaging: Natural and Synthetic Biopolymers

Authored by: Ruchir Priyadarshi , Bijender Kumar , Farha Deeba , Yuvraj Singh Negi , Anurag Kulshreshtha

Encyclopedia of Polymer Applications

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781498729932
eBook ISBN: 9781351019422
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351019422-140000362

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Abstract

The current work elaborates the developments taking place in the research area of food packaging starting from the prehistoric times to the current trends. With the advent of agriculture, it became important to devise a method to store and preserve food for consumption at a later stage of time. This led to the beginning of research in food packaging materials which witnessed the development starting from primitive storage using tree barks to contemporary plastic packages. With the development in polymer chemistry, various polymers were extracted from natural sources or synthesized chemically for this purpose. The growing variety of polymers created a need for their classification on various bases, origin and stiffness being the most common. Since most of the plastics produced were nonbiodegradable in nature, they gradually made a significant contribution to the municipal solid waste accumulation in the environment and consequently, environmental hazards. This led to the development of biopolymers for food packaging applications as they were not only biodegradable, but also displayed additional advantageous properties like antimicrobial activities. The present work describes all the important natural and synthetic biopolymers used in food packaging applications, their classifications, properties from the context of food packaging, and current state of their commercialization.

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