About this Research Topic
The most well-known packaging materials, which have been in use by the food industry for over 50 years, are petroleum-based materials (synthetic polymers). These materials are not only safe, but also inexpensive, versatile, and flexible. However, one of the limitations of plastic food packaging materials is that it is meant to be discarded, with very little being recycled. One-third of household waste consists of food packaging materials. About 80% of this is single-use plastics, of which a large percentage end up in landfills and water bodies, polluting the ecosystem. Food packaging has been impacted by notable changes in food distribution, including the globalization of the food supply chain, consumer trends for more fresh and convenient foods, longer shelf life, as well as a desire for safer and better-quality foods. Given these and previously mentioned issues, consumers are demanding that food packaging materials be sustainable, biodegradable, recyclable, and provide value-added functionality.
Every year food industries face a major challenge in ensuring food safety and food quality. Food products can be easily subjected to contamination by bacteria and fungi. Bioactive packaging is gaining interest from researchers and industries due to its potential to provide quality and safety benefits. Bioactive packaging can be defined as the incorporation of bioactive or antimicrobial agents into packaging in order to prevent surface growth of micro-organisms and pathogenic bacteria in foods, thus ensuring the quality and safety of food products during storage. Biopolymers can play an important role in the development of innovative sustainable food packaging materials, to not only reduce the generation and disposal of plastic and waste, but also to improve food safety and reduce food waste.
This Research Topic calls for papers focusing on the following topics:
1. Biopolymer-based (i.e. starch, cellulose, alginate, chitosan) eco-friendly food packaging materials.
2. Chemical modification, functionalization, and/or blending of nanomaterials with biopolymers to enhance the physio-chemical properties of the packaging.
3. Incorporation, encapsulation, and/or attachment of natural antimicrobials in food packaging to extend the shelf life of the packaged food products.
4. Immobilization of bioactive compounds and/or enzymes for the development of smart/intelligent packaging materials.
This Research Topic welcomes high-quality contributions from academic food and polymer researchers and scientists on food packaging and food safety. We invite scientists from this field to contribute Original Research, Review, or Perspective papers.
Dr. Tanzina Huq is the co-founder and CTO of Chinova Bioworks, a company that develops natural and sustainable food packaging. She also holds a patent on behalf of the company. Dr. Avik Khan's main affiliation is with Chinova Bioworks. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.
Keywords: Biopolymers, nanocellulose, starch, bioactive agents, food packaging, food safety, pathogens
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.