Plastic packaging is essential nowadays. However, the huge environmental problem caused by landfill disposal of non-biodegradable polymers in the end of life has to be minimized and preferentially eliminated. The solution may rely on the use of biopolymers, in particular polysaccharides. These macromolecules with film-forming properties are able to produce attracting biodegradable materials, possibly applicable in food packaging. Despite all advantages of using polysaccharides obtained from different sources, some drawbacks, mostly related to their low resistance to water, mechanical performance and price, have hindered their wider use and commercialization. Nevertheless, with increasing attention and research on this field, it has been possible to trace some strategies to overcome the problems and recognize solutions. This review summarizes some of the most used polysaccharides in food packaging applications.
- Biopolymer-derived membranes
- Microbial polysaccharides