Encapsulation of Essential Oils in Nanocarriers for Active Food Packaging
Active packaging improves a packaging system&rsquo;s effectiveness by actively integrating additional components into the packaging material or the headspace around the packaging. Consumer demand and awareness have grown enough to replace chemical agents with natural active agents. Essential oils (EOs) are extensively distributed throughout nature but at low levels and sometimes with poor recovery yields, which poses an issue with their application in food. Due to the instability of EOs when added directly into a food product, they require encapsulation before being added to a packaging matrix such as liposomes, solid-lipid nanoparticles, nano-emulsions, cyclodextrins, and nanostructured lipid nano-carriers. This article is focused on the encapsulation of EOs in different types of nanocarriers. Nanocarriers can improve the efficiency of active substances by providing protection, stability, and controlled and targeted release. The advantages of the many types of nanocarriers that contain active substances that can be used to make antibacterial and antioxidant biopolymeric-based active packaging are discussed. A nanocarrier-encapsulated EO enables the controlled release of oil, stabilizing the packaging for a longer duration.