Technological watch

Chitosan Edible Films and Coatings with Added Bioactive Compounds: Antibacterial and Antioxidant Properties and Their Application to Food Products: A Review

Chitosan is the deacetylated form of chitin regarded as one of the most abundant polymers and due to its properties, both chitosan alone or in combination with bioactive substances for the production of biodegradable films and coatings is gaining attention in terms of applications in the food industry. To enhance the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of chitosan, a vast variety of plant extracts have been incorporated to meet consumer demands for more environmentally friendly and synthetic preservative-free foods. This review provides knowledge about the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of chitosan films and coatings enriched with natural extracts as well as their applications in various food products and the effects they had on them. In a nutshell, it has been demonstrated that chitosan can act as a coating or packaging material with excellent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in addition to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, and non-toxicity. However, further research should be carried out to widen the applications of bioactive chitosan coatings to more foods and industries as well was their industrial scale-up, thus helping to minimize the use of plastic materials.

Publication date: 12/01/2023

Author: Nuria Muñoz-Tebar

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15020396

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.