Recent Applications of Biopolymers Derived from Fish Industry Waste in Food Packaging
Fish waste is attracting growing interest as a new raw material for biopolymer production in different application fields, mainly in food packaging, with significant economic and environmental advantages. This review paper summarizes the recent advances in the valorization of fish waste for the preparation of biopolymers for food packaging applications. The issues related to fishery industry waste and fish by-catch and the potential for re-using these by-products in a circular economy approach have been presented in detail. Then, all the biopolymer typologies derived from fish waste with potential applications in food packaging, such as muscle proteins, collagen, gelatin, chitin/chitosan, have been described. For each of them, the recent applications in food packaging, in the last five years, have been overviewed with an emphasis on smart packaging applications. Despite the huge industrial potential of fish industry by-products, most of the reviewed applications are still at lab-scale. Therefore, the technological challenges for a reliable exploitation and recovery of several potentially valuable molecules and the strategies to improve the barrier, mechanical and thermal performance of each kind of biopolymer have been analyzed.