Vegetable Additives in Food Packaging Polymeric Materials
Plants are the most abundant bioresources, providing valuable materials that can be used as additives in polymeric materials, such as lignocellulosic fibers, nano-cellulose, or lignin, as well as plant extracts containing bioactive phenolic and flavonoid compounds used in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and nutraceutical industries. The incorporation of additives into polymeric materials improves their properties to make them suitable for multiple applications. Efforts are made to incorporate into the raw polymers various natural biobased and biodegradable additives with a low environmental fingerprint, such as by-products, biomass, plant extracts, etc. In this review we will illustrate in the first part recent examples of lignocellulosic materials, lignin, and nano-cellulose as reinforcements or fillers in various polymer matrices and in the second part various applications of plant extracts as active ingredients in food packaging materials based on polysaccharide matrices (chitosan/starch/alginate).