Cactus Mucilage for Food Packaging Applications
Natural polymers have been widely investigated for the development of eco-friendly materials. Among these bio-polymers, cactus mucilage is attracting increasing interest regardless of the plant species or the plant organ used for extraction. Mucilage, which is a highly branched heteropolysaccharide, has been previously studied for its chemical composition, structural features, and biotechnological applications. This review highlights the mucilage application in the food packaging industry, by developing films and coatings. These cactus-based biomaterials will be discussed for their functional properties and their potential in preserving food quality and extending shelf life.