Functionality and Applicability of Starch-Based Films: An Eco-Friendly Approach
The accumulation of high amounts of petro-based plastics is a growing environmental devastation issue, leading to the urgent need to innovate eco-safe packaging materials at an equivalent cost to save the environment. Among different substitutes, starch-based types and their blends with biopolymers are considered an innovative and smart material alternative for petrol-based polymers because of their abundance, low cost, biodegradability, high biocompatibility, and better-quality film-forming and improved mechanical characteristics. Furthermore, starch is a valuable, sustainable food packaging material. The rising and growing importance of designing starch-based films from various sources for sustainable food packaging purposes is ongoing research. Research on “starch food packaging” is still at the beginning, based on the few studies published in the last decade in Web of Science. Additionally, the functionality of starch-based biodegradable substances is technically a challenge. It can be improved by starch modification, blending starch with other biopolymers or additives, and using novel preparation techniques. Starch-based films have been applied to packaging various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, bakery goods, and meat, indicating good prospects for commercial utilization. The current review will give a critical snapshot of starch-based films’ properties and potential applicability in the sustainable smart (active and intelligent) new packaging concepts and discuss new challenges and opportunities for starch bio composites.