Recent advances on chitosan-based films for sustainable food packaging applications

Elsevier, Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Volume 26, December 2020, 100551
Authors: 
Hossein Haghighi, Fabio Licciardello, Patrizia Fava, Heinz Wilhelm Siesler, and Andrea Pulvirenti

The recent sharp increase of sensitivity towards environmental issues arising from plastic packaging has boosted interest towards alternative sustainable packaging materials. This new trend promotes the industrial exploitation of knowledge on chitosan-based films. Chitosan has been extensively investigated and used due to its unique biological and functional properties. However, inherent drawbacks including low mechanical properties and high sensitivity to humidity represent major limitations to its industrial applications, including food packaging. In the present study, the scientific literature of the last five years has been extensively reviewed (source: Web of Science) addressing chitosan-based films for their potential application in the food packaging industry. The contribution summarizes the various strategies adopted to overcome inherent drawbacks and improve the properties of chitosan-based films, with special regards for blending with natural and synthetic biopolymers.