Technological watch

Edible Biopolymers-Based Materials for Food Applications—The Eco Alternative to Conventional Synthetic Packaging

The problem of waste generated by packaging obtained from conventional synthetic materials, often multilayer, has become more and more pressing with increasing consumption. In this context, nature and humanity have suffered the most. In order to address this phenomenon, global and European organizations have launched and promoted programs and strategies. Replacing petroleum-based packaging with biopolymer packaging has proven to be a real alternative. Thus, the substitution of plastics with biodegradable, non-toxic, edible materials, which can be obtained from marine or agro-industrial waste, is of interest. In the present study, we aimed to develop natural edible materials, obtained entirely from biopolymers such as agar and sodium alginate and plasticized with glycerol and water. Designed to be used for food and food supplements packaging, they can be completely solubilized before consumption. The films were developed through a casting method and were tested in order to identify the physical, optical, and solubility properties. According to the results, the most suitable composition for use as a hydrosoluble packaging material contains agar:alginate:glycerol in a 2:1:1 ratio. The microstructure indicates a homogeneous film, with low roughness values (Rz = 12.65 ± 1.12 µm), high luminosity (92.63), above-average transmittance (T = 51.70%), and low opacity (6.30 A* mm?1). The obtained results are of interest and highlight the possibility of substituting intensely polluting materials with those based on biopolymers.

Publication date: 31/10/2021

Author: Roxana Gheorghita Puscaselu

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13213779

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.