Understanding the Barrier and Mechanical Behavior of Different Nanofillers in Chitosan Films for Food Packaging
The continuous petroleum-based plastics manufacturing generates disposal issues, spreading the problem of plastic pollution and its rise in the environment. Recently, innovative techniques and scientific research promoted biopolymers as the primary alternative for traditional plastics, raising and expanding global bioplastic production. Due to its unmatched biological and functional attributes, chitosan (Ch) has been substantially explored and employed as a biopolymeric matrix. Nevertheless, the hydrophilicity and the weak mechanical properties associated with this biopolymer represent a significant intrinsic restriction to its implementation into some commercial applications, namely, in food packaging industries. Distinct methodologies have been utilized to upgrade the mechanical and barrier properties of Ch, such as using organic or inorganic nanofillers, crosslinkers, or blends with other polymers. This review intends to analyze the most recent works that combine the action of different nanoparticle types with Ch films to reinforce their mechanical and barrier properties.