Food Packaging and Preservation

pp 159-181

Bio-packaging: technology and properties of edible and/or biodegradable material of agricultural origin

  • N. Gontard
  • , S. Guilbert

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Edible films, coatings and biodegradable packagings produced from biological materials offer numerous advantages over other conventional synthetic packaging materials. Potential applications of edible films are numerous (internal moisture or solute barriers of heterogeneous foods, individual protection of food pieces, encapsulation of food additives, etc.). Advantages, types, formation and properties of edible films with examples are reviewed in detail. Biodegradable packaging, made from entirely renewable natural polymers could contribute to solving environmental pollution and creating new markets for agricultural products. Different approaches are discussed (physical mixing of starch or co-processing of more than 50% starch with synthetic polymers, thermoplastic extruded starch, etc.).