Application of Biodegradable Polymers in Food Packaging Industry: A Comprehensive Review

  • S. Mangaraj
  • Ajay Yadav
  • Lalit M. BalEmail author
  • S. K. Dash
  • Naveen K. Mahanti
Review Paper


For last 50 years plastics are widely used for manufacturing of packaging materials because of their performance and ease in production. With the advent of food processing industries there is a great demand for petroleum based packaging materials for food applications. However, increased use of plastics has created serious ecological problems to the environment because of their resistance to biodegradation. Biopolymers can be used as a solution to the problems posed by plastics as they easily degrade in the environment and also mimic the properties of conventional polymers. Biopolymers can be classified into three categories according to their origins of production. These are polymers extracted from biomass, synthesized from bio-derived monomers and produced from microorganisms. There are different film formation methods for biopolymers like solution casting method, melt mix method, electro spinning method, thermo pressing and casting, extrusion blown film method. The quality of polymers can be expressed as different properties like physical, thermal, mechanical and barrier properties. This review highlights the different kinds of biodegradable polymers, their characteristics with special emphasis on their market potential for food packaging applications. The review revels that presently starch based, PLA, PHA and different blends have been manufactured by industries, film properties compared with petrochemical based polymer for MAP and other food packaging applications. Since information on biopolymers is widely scattered over many sources and are very scarce compared to the conventional polymers, this article intends to give an overview of the state of the art on biodegradable polymer packages for food applications.


Biopolymer Film properties Film production Packaging Food industry MAP 


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Copyright information

© Indian Institute of Packaging 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Mangaraj
    • 1
  • Ajay Yadav
    • 1
  • Lalit M. Bal
    • 2
    Email author
  • S. K. Dash
    • 3
  • Naveen K. Mahanti
    • 1
  1. 1.Agro Produce Processing DivisionCentral Institute of Agricultural EngineeringBhopalIndia
  2. 2.Post Harvest Process and Food Engineering, College of AgricultureJawaharlal Nehru Agricultural UniversityTikamgarhIndia
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural Processing and Food EngineeringOrissa University of Agriculture and TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia

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