Technological watch

Edible Films on Meat and Meat Products

In 2018, the worldwide consumption of meat was 346.14 million tonnes, and this is expected to increase in the future. As meat consumption increases, the use of packaging materials is expected to increase along with it. Petrochemical packaging materials which are widely used in the meat processing industry, take a long time to regenerate and biodegrade, thus they adversely affect the environment. Therefore, the necessity for the development of eco-friendly packaging materials for meat processing, which are easily degradable and recyclable, came to the fore. The objective of this review is to describe the application of natural compound-derived edible films with their antioxidant and antibacterial activities in meat and meat products. For several decades, polysaccharides (cellulose, starch, pectin, gum, alginate, carrageenan and chitosan), proteins (milk, collagen and isolated soy protein) and lipids (essential oil, waxes, emulsifiers, plasticizers and resins) were studied as basic materials for edible films to reduce plastic packaging. There are still high consumer demands for eco-friendly alternatives to petrochemical-based plastic packaging, and edible films can be used in a variety of ways in meat processing. More efforts to enhance the physiological and functional properties of edible films are needed for commercial application to meat and meat products.

Publication date: 01/11/2021

Author: Dong-Heon Song

Reference: doi: 10.3390/coatings11111344

MDPI (coatings)


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.