Colloidal Solutions as Advanced Coatings for Active Packaging Development: Focus on PLA Systems
Due to rising consumer demand the food packaging industry is turning increasingly to packaging materials that offer active functions. This is achieved by incorporating active compounds into the basic packaging materials. However, it is currently believed that adding active compounds as a coating over the base packaging material is more beneficial than adding them in bulk or in pouches, as this helps to maintain the physicochemical properties of the base material along with higher efficiency at the interface with the food. Colloidal systems have the potential to be used as active coatings, while the application of coatings in the form of colloidal dispersions allows for prolonged and controlled release of the active ingredient and uniform distribution, due to their colloidal/nano size and large surface area ratio. The objective of this review is to analyse some of the different colloidal solutions previously used in the literature as coatings for active food packaging and their advantages. The focus is on natural bio-based substances and packaging materials such as PLA, due to consumer awareness and environmental and regulatory issues. The antiviral concept through the surface is also discussed briefly, as it is an important strategy in the context of the current pandemic crisis and cross-infection prevention.