Technological watch

Antimicrobial Biodegradable Food Packaging Based on Chitosan and Metal/Metal-Oxide Bio-Nanocomposites: A Review

Finding a practical alternative to decrease the use of conventional polymers in the plastic industry has become an acute concern since industrially-produced plastic waste, mainly conventional food packaging, has become an environmental crisis worldwide. Biodegradable polymers have attracted the attention of researchers as a possible alternative for fossil-based plastics. Chitosan-based packaging materials, in particular, have become a recent focus for the biodegradable food packaging sector due to their biodegradability, non-toxic nature, and antimicrobial properties. Chitosan, obtained from chitin, is the most abundant biopolymer in nature after cellulose. Chitosan is an ideal biomaterial for active packaging as it can be fabricated alone or combined with other polymers as well as metallic antimicrobial particles, either as layers or as coacervates for examination as functional components of active packaging systems. Chitosan-metal/metal oxide bio-nanocomposites have seen growing interest as antimicrobial packaging materials, with several different mechanisms of inhibition speculated to include direct physical interactions or chemical reactions (i.e., the production of reactive oxygen species as well as the increased dissolution of toxic metal cations). The use of chitosan and its metal/metal oxide (i.e., titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and silver nanoparticles) bio-nanocomposites in packaging applications are the primary focus of discussion in this review.

Publication date: 19/08/2021

Author: Amin Babaei-Ghazvini

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13162790

MDPI (polymers)


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.