Liquid and Solid Functional Bio-Based Coatings
The development of new bio-based coating materials to be applied on cellulosic and plastic based substrates, with improved performances compared to currently available products and at the same time with improved sustainable end of life options, is a challenge of our times. Enabling cellulose or bioplastics with proper functional coatings, based on biopolymer and functional materials deriving from agro-food waste streams, will improve their performance, allowing them to effectively replace fossil products in the personal care, tableware and food packaging sectors. To achieve these challenging objectives some molecules can be used in wet or solid coating formulations, e.g., cutin as a hydrophobic water- and grease-repellent coating, polysaccharides such as chitosan-chitin as an antimicrobial coating, and proteins as a gas barrier. This review collects the available knowledge on functional coatings with a focus on the raw materials used and methods of dispersion/application. It considers, in addition, the correlation with the desired final properties of the applied coatings, thus discussing their potential.