The growing world population, evolving urbanization, and globalization have created more demand for food, which has increased challenges in food safety. Development and innovations in food packaging, one of the most important components in the food industry, is of key importance as food safety issues have gathered tremendous attention of the world. Food packaging is mainly intended to prevent a deterioration in quality of foods and beverages during distribution, sales, and consumption. Polymeric materials have been widely used as packaging materials due to their advantageous characteristics, including excellent mechanical, thermal, and corrosion-resistant properties, a lightweight nature, and ease in production. Polymer composites refer to polymers impregnated with nanomaterials and organic or inorganic compounds. Polymer composites have been applied in the packaging industry to enhance or bestow additional properties to packaging materials. This review summarizes the recent advances in polymer and polymer composites used in food packaging applications. First, progress in the polymers utilized for food packaging, with a focus on biodegradable polymers, will be introduced. Subsequently, the utilities of polymer composites in advanced food packaging will be highlighted and categorized into three classifications of packaging: improved, active, and intelligent packaging. Next, concerns on the relevant safety issues and regulations will be briefly discussed. Finally, an outlook on the future research directions of polymer and polymer composites for food packaging will be provided.

Recent advances in polymers and polymer composites for food packaging
Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2022.01.022