Technological watch

Biodegradable Antimicrobial Films for Food Packaging: Effect of Antimicrobials on Degradation

The environmental problem generated by the massive consumption of plastics makes necessary the developing of biodegradable antimicrobial materials that can extend food shelf-life without having a negative impact on the environment. The current situation regarding the availability of biodegradable food packaging materials has been analysed, as well as different studies where antimicrobial compounds have been incorporated into the polymer matrix to control the growth of pathogenic or spoilage bacteria. Thus, the antimicrobial activity of active films based on different biodegradable polymers and antimicrobial compounds has been discussed. Likewise, relevant information on biodegradation studies carried out with different biopolymers in different environments (compost, soil, aquatic), and the effect of some antimicrobials on this behavior, are reviewed. In most of the studies, no relevant effect of the incorporated antimicrobials on the degradation of the polymer were observed, but some antimicrobials can delay the process. The changes in biodegradation pattern due to the presence of the antimicrobial are attributed to its influence on the microorganism population responsible for the process. More studies are required to know the specific influence of the antimicrobial compounds on the biodegradation behavior of polymers in different environments. No studies have been carried out or marine media to this end.

Publication date: 01/06/2021

Author: Eva Hernández-García

Reference: doi: 10.3390/foods10061256

MDPI (foods)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.