Sustainable Use of Fruit and Vegetable By-Products to Enhance Food Packaging Performance
Fruit and vegetable by-products are the most abundant food waste. Industrial processes such as oil, juice, wine or sugar production greatly contribute to this amount. These kinds of residues are generally thrown away in form of leftover and used as feed or composted, but they are a great source of bioactive compounds like polyphenols, vitamins or minerals. The amount of residue with potential utilization after processing has been estimated in millions of tons every year. For this reason, many researchers all around the world are making great efforts to valorize and reuse these valuable resources. Of greatest importance is the by-product potential to enhance the properties of packaging intended for food applications. Therefore, this overview collects the most recent researches dealing with fruit and vegetable by-products used to enhance physical, mechanical, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of packaging systems. Recent advances on synthetic or bio-based films enriched with by-product components are extensively reviewed, with an emphasis on the role that by-product extracts can play in food packaging materials.